Imperial College, London stands to benefit from last week's decision by Korean conglomerate LG Group to invest Pounds 1.7 billion in two state-of-the-art microelectronics facilities in south Wales.
The new facilities will be based at Imperial Park, the college's joint science park venture with the Welsh Development Agency and Newport Borough Council.
Imperial will not derive any direct benefit from the investment but its rector Sir Ronald Oxburgh said that he is looking forward to research collaboration with the LG Group in the future. The facilities will initially be dedicated to manufacturing but LG may be carrying out research there within five years.
The new facilities will create a demand for trained technical staff. Imperial College pro-rector David Thomas said that there is a shortfall of skilled technicians and that Welsh universities can expect a large slice of the training demand generated by LG.
Imperial Park was set up in 1992 as part of a WDA initiative to increase the supply of jobs for technology graduates in Wales. Imperial was asked to join because its international research reputation can act as a lure for foreign companies.