Minister Praises Ford and Cardiff University Link-Up


Brentwood, Essex, 19 March, 2012 – A new partnership between Ford and Cardiff University, involving operations at Ford’s high-tech manufacturing plant in Bridgend, has been praised by Edwina Hart AM, Welsh Government Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science.

Edwina Hart

A new Joint Working Agreement with Ford will see the sharing of research and intelligence, helping to improve production processes and reduce costs.  Ford will be employing a Cardiff University graduate for two years to work directly on the project under the supervision of both Ford and academic staff.

During a visit to Ford Bridgend engine plant today, the Minister said: “Ford and Cardiff University are both highly respected in their fields in Wales and internationally.

“This new Joint Working Agreement is just the kind of partnership that I want to see between our universities and the anchor companies in Wales. Modern manufacturing is one of my top priorities and I am delighted that Ford will be working with Cardiff University to make their operations here even more successful.”

The agreement was signed at Ford’s Bridgend plant where the Minister was joined by Kieran Cahill, plant manager; Dr David Grant, Cardiff University vice-chancellor, and Professor Derek Jones, Cardiff University director of business and strategic partnerships.

Kieran Cahill, Ford Bridgend plant manager, said: “This agreement marks a new step in the fast-growing, dynamic relationship between Ford Bridgend and Cardiff University, and we are delighted to be working together.”

Derek Jones said: “The overarching priority will be to identify projects which will best help to improve profitable operations and innovative, carbon-efficient, manufacturing. Reducing energy costs will be a priority.

“Collaboration and the sharing of knowledge will take place through a range of methods, including research and development projects, student scholarships and placements, and staff exchanges and secondments.”

In January, Cardiff University was selected as one of 12 UK universities to be included in the Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Programme.  The scholarships will provide £10,000 per student, over a three-year period on a variety of different courses, ranging from science to automotive engineering and computer technology, starting in the 2012 academic year.