11th February 2020


ASTUTE 2020 (West Wales and the Valleys)

The aim of ASTUTE 2020 is to help enable transformational and sustainable growth in the manufacturing industry of West Wales and the Valleys (WWV) by facilitating the adoption of advanced technologies, increasing competitiveness and future proofing.

This will be achieved through demand-led collaborative RD&I, and knowledge exchange with industry whereby a partnership of Welsh Universities will harness their world-leading and internationally excellent manufacturing expertise.

The two core partners of the ASTUTE 2020 operation are Swansea University (the lead partner) and Cardiff University with contributions from Aberystwyth University* and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, in niche specialist areas of expertise.

The operation will focus on:

·      Computational Engineering Modelling, addressing the need to reduce costly “trial and error” approaches in understanding and improving complex manufacturing processes and manufactured products.

·      Advanced Materials Technology, addressing the need to fully understand existing materials, to introduce new materials into products and to adopt more innovative techniques for processing other advanced materials.

·      Manufacturing Systems Engineering, addressing the need to improve the use of resources in the manufacturing process, to manage more effectively the supply chain of products and services entering the company, and to exploit digital processes and connectivity.


The completion date for ASTUTE 2020 ERDF funding is the end of September 2022.

*Aberystwyth is withdrawing from the ASTUTE 2020 partnership after June 2020 but the relevant expertise will then be provided by Swansea University.


ASTUTE East (East Wales)

ASTUTE East aims to build on the successful areas of ASTUTE 2020 while also incorporating significant enhancements from discussions with industry, stakeholders and from a horizon scanning exercise.

The two core partners Swansea University and Cardiff University are the same as ASTUTE 2020 but there is only one other Welsh HEI, the University of South Wales (USW), providing niche specialist areas of expertise.

The applied research in collaboration with companies is still underpinned by the same three ‘Smart Specialisations’ of Computational Engineering Modelling, Advanced Materials Technology and Manufacturing Systems Engineering but it aims to support the development of East Wales regional industry competitiveness in advanced engineering and manufacturing by providing a greater focus on addressing challenges in Future Manufacturing Technologies.  This includes advanced cyber physical systems, sensors, and rapidly growing and increasingly complex data and information gathering to understand physical systems, to re-create them in the digital world and to create actionable knowledge and guide decision-making in manufacturing processes.

The end date for ASTUTE 2020 ERDF funding is also 30 September 2022.