The latest phase of Cardiff University's £300m Innovation Campus, which includes The Institute for Compound Semiconductors - a unique UK-based translational research centre in compound semiconductors - and Cardiff Catalysis Institute for chemical research - has been approved by city planners. Cardiff University hopes to start work on site early in 2017.
The fully-funded £135m project on the city's brownfield Maindy Park is the latest phase in Cardiff's mission to embed innovation into University life. Two new buildings will bring researchers, businesses, public sector backers and students together. Architecture practices Hawkins\Brown and HOK each designed a building for the project, working alongside site masterplanners BDP and town planning consultancy DPP.
The campus vision, outlined two years ago by vice-chancellor Colin Riordan, establishes centres of excellence that push benefits back into the economy to create a self-sustaining cycle for growth. Riordan said: "A new campus helps us create opportunities for all. Cutting-edge research, technology transfer, business development and student enterprise will put ideas to work.
"Our innovation ambitions go beyond the sum of the physical buildings. We are hiring internationally-renowned academics who can build world-class teams of post-doctoral researchers. We are equipping students with the skills they'll need to set up future ventures. And we're continuing to attract major UK and international funding across private and public sectors to make Cardiff the home of innovation."
In addition to two new buildings, each covering 12,000 sq m, this latest third phase includes a bridge linking Cardiff Business School with the Innovation Campus.
Adrian Gainer, regional leader for HOK's Science + Technology group, added: "We look forward to creating cutting-edge facilities that will reinforce the university's international reputation as a leading catalysis research centre and build on its strengths in the development of semiconductor devices and materials.
"Both the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and the Cardiff Catalysis Institute have been designed to enable multidisciplinary research to flourish, with inspiring spaces to attract and retain the most talented individuals."
Martin Jones, BDP, said: "The Campus fulfils a number of aspirations for Cardiff University and aims to facilitate world-leading scientific research, inter-disciplinary mixing and increase student opportunities in an environment that's better for business."
Gareth Hooper, DPP, added: "We worked very closely with the University and Cardiff Council to ensure that this exciting scheme could be delivered within an outline planning consent dating back to 2010. The result is the continuation of an exciting regeneration project, delivering physical change to the city through world-leading science."