THE MS for Alyn and Deeside has received a positive Welsh Government response to calls for the development of an advance technology research centre in the region.

Jack Sargeant MS asked Minister for the Economy of Wales Vaughan Gething to agree to the creation of such a centre in Deeside.

He put the question to the minister in the Senedd on Wednesday, June 15 and was pleased with the positive response he received.

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Jack Sargeant MS said: “As a trained research and development engineer, I understand how important this announcement is. An advanced technology research centre will be the springboard to creating many high skilled, well paid jobs in Alyn and Deeside.

“I've been reflecting on what innovation means and the word 'innovation', and as I've been doing that, I came across a quote from Steve Jobs, and he once said that, 'Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.'

“And that resonates really and truly with me, because, when I was serving my time as an engineering apprentice, my mentor told me that a person who has never made a mistake has never made anything.

"Now, the Welsh Labour Government has encouraged innovation in manufacturing in particular, with the advanced manufacturing research centre in Broughton, which has unlocked the potential in business in north Wales.

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“I wondered if the Minister agrees with me that it's time to go further, and that we do need to support an advanced technology research centre in Alyn and Deeside.”

Vaughan Gething MS replied: “'Yes', I think is the straight answer, and, of course, the vision for doing something like that was set out by my predecessor Ken Skates. And we are not just supportive of establishing an advanced technology research centre in Wales, but I can give the Member some rather more up-to-date news.

“Subject to developing a sustainable funding package, last week, the Welsh Government signed heads of terms for a preferred site in Sealand for an advanced technology research centre. Our partners in signing that are the Ministry of Defence.

“Work is now under way on the design of that facility to ensure that we meet the requirements of our partners and future users. So, good news about the centre. But I think, more importantly, just to highlight the point the Member made at the start, it is important to have a risk appetite to get things wrong and to learn from not being able to make progress.

“And that's one of the challenges we have about expectations of how public money is used, but recognising that, without some risk appetite, we won't see successful innovation and economic return as well. And I look forward to coming back with what I hope will be even better news about the heads of terms, and about the actual programmes to deliver the advanced technology research centre at our preferred site.”