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CISM building.

The CISM building (Picture: Stride Treglown).

A new state-of-the-art facility at Swansea University that will bring together groundbreaking research with technology development in the field of semiconductor science and engineering, is one step closer with the execution of the main build contract with Kier for the Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials (CISM) at the Bay Campus

Work has already started on the three-storey building, which will be 4320sqm in size, and will house an industry-leading clean fabrication environment, research laboratories and office facilities. The building will have a reinforced concrete frame, with composite cladding and a hot melt bitumen roof. Kier will use sustainable, energy efficient building techniques and renewable energy technology including solar PV and heat recovery on the project. 

Throughout the duration of this project, Kier will work with its local supply chain, of which circa 20% will be from the surrounding Swansea area, to deliver this building. The team will follow the latest Government advice on Coronavirus COVID-19 and will work in line with its Site Operating Procedures (SOPs).

The facility has received funding from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), which is administered by Research England in partnership with HEFCW, and will be located at the engineering quarter on the Bay Campus.

CISM, which is due for completion in 2022, will provide vital research and innovation support for the CSConnected Cluster, a growing network of regional semiconductor industry partners including IQE, SPTS Technologies and Newport Wafer Fab. The Cluster partners also include Swansea and Cardiff Universities, the Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal in a highly co-ordinated effort to deliver critical mass and a competitive advantage for semiconductor manufacturing in the region.

The facility will be uniquely placed to deliver economic and social benefits to the south Wales region, particularly in the post-Covid era, as its cutting-edge facilities and research will bring new opportunities that can be met by a skilled local population and which will anchor compound semiconductor businesses in the region. 

Professor Paul Meredith, Ser Cymru National Research Chair and Swansea University CISM project lead said: ‘I am delighted that Kier Construction will be delivering CISM which will play a key part in putting Wales on the map as a major player in the rapidly growing UK semiconductor industry.  When completed, the CISM building will be a hub for connecting research, innovation and manufacturing to drive economic growth in this region.” 

Jason Taylor, operations director for Kier Regional Building Western & Wales, states: “The Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials is set to be a vital building in aiding the growth of the semiconductor industry in the UK. We are delighted to have been appointed by Swansea University to deliver these state-of-the-art facilities which will be at the heart of its engineering quarter.

“This latest award builds on our relationship with Swansea University, having delivered the Impact building last year as well as a number of other refurbishment projects over the last five years. We will continue to work with our local supply chain to deliver this important project for the university.”

Chris Meadows, Director of CSconnected Ltd added: “Wales has built an envious position as a global powerhouse of advanced semiconductor capabilities that is driving next generation technologies. CISM is a welcome addition to the CSconnected family that will play a critical role within the cluster, complementing and greatly enhancing the technology offering from across our region.” 

Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Paul Boyle said: “It is exciting to see this major project reach another important milestone, especially during such difficult times. The CISM project is a reflection of South Wales’ strength in semiconductor technology, and a paradigm of how universities can work collaboratively and successfully with industry and government to create innovation-led economic growth for our region.”

Further information about the CISM concept, including the site plan and other building details is on the Campus Development webpages.

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