A NATIONAL science academy is to be established in Wales – with a regional hub to be based in Wrexham.

The go-ahead for the project, a commitment under the One Wales agreement, was given yesterday by Wrexham Assembly Member Lesley Griffiths, who is deputy minister for science, innovation and skills.

She said the academy would promote the take up of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at all levels to ensure Wales had enough people graduating from colleges and universities with the right qualifications and skills.

The academy will span across Wales with four regional hubs and one central hub based at the Wales Institute of Mathematics and Computational Science in Swansea University that already manages the National Higher Education STEM programme in Wales.

Regional hubs will be based at Techniquest in Wrexham and Cardiff, with the remaining two locations yet to be confirmed.

Ms Griffiths said: “We need people with these skills to support the industries and technologies of tomorrow, to drive forward innovation in business, to stimulate research and development in universities and attract investment to Wales.

“The importance of innovation and the role it can play in helping economic growth should not be under estimated.

“The National Science Academy will have a key role to play in ensuring we have the appropriate skills at the appropriate level to support the development of a vibrant and sustainable knowledge based economy.

“High level skills will play an increasingly important role in the economic renewal programme and none more so than in science and technology based subjects. We are investing in skills for our future prosperity and growth.”

She said the academy would build on a number of highly successful existing STEM initiatives to improve the supply of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians in order to support businesses.

The work of the regional hubs will be to promote and market the work of the academy.