Cerebra and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will welcome The Earl of Wessex to the University’s Swansea College of Art and Design ALEX Building on Thursday, September 29, to officially open the Building.
The Earl of Wessex will be greeted and welcomed by Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, UWTSD Vice-Chancellor, before embarking on a tour of the building, where he will meet staff and students.
His Royal Highness will also visit The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC), which was established in 2004 as a partnership between the University and Cerebra, a charity working with brain injured children. From its base in ALEX, the centre designs and manufactures individual products to assist children living with serious life-limiting conditions. Profits from commercialised products are fed back into CIC’s R&D activities.
The visit will conclude with the unveiling of a plaque by The Earl of Wessex to officially open the ALEX Building.
Dr Ian Walsh, Dean of UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art and Design said: “The visit by The Earl of Wessex to the ALEX Building marks the end of a journey which started in 2006. Over the last 10-years this magnificent historic building has been transformed. Its original vision as a beacon of excellence has been restored and once again it occupies centre stage as a seat of creative learning in the heart of Swansea.”
Chris Jones, CEO of Cerebra, said: “The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) based within the ALEX building is an initiative created from Cerebra’s partnership with the University. We created the centre in order to provide high quality, innovative product solutions to help the families of children with a variety of brain conditions. Cerebra is a national charity for brain injured children and the CIC forms an extremely important part of our work. Innovative product solutions are all about discovery. There is a certain magic in that and Cerebra is all about joining with families in order to take that journey of discovery. We listen to families, face up to their challenges, believe that for every challenge there is a solution and then discover that solution together. The Cerebra Innovation Centre epitomises that philosophy. It truly is a great innovation in itself.”
The ALEX Building plays host to a number of important centres of excellence. It provides state-of-the-art accommodation for Wales’ oldest Art Foundation Programme. UWTSD is the only University in Wales still running its own in-house art foundation which remains a key point of entry to Swansea College of Art.
Swansea Bay has the largest cluster of independent architectural glass practitioners in Europe. The Architectural Glass department at UWTSD, which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2016/17, is unique in the UK and has a truly international reputation. Supporting the creative industries is fundamental to Swansea College of Art’s mission. Within the ALEX Building this is seen clearly in the work of the innovative 3D Computer Animation and Creative Computer Games programmes.
The ALEX building is also home to the University’s Industrial Design department, which include the only Automotive and Transport Design programmes in Wales plus the award winning Product Design programmes.