The role of physics in supporting economic growth and national productivity in Wales

In an uncertain economic climate, it is more important than ever for Wales to recognise and support areas that can be relied upon to deliver results. Physics is one of those areas, and is one where Wales has an established and effective base.


Foreword to the report by Chair of IOP Wales Professor Andrew Evans

Wales is home to many internationally leading researchers with key roles in major international collaborations and it serves as a base for many businesses that have built significant success on physics-based knowledge and technologies.

The work presented in this report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research is the most comprehensive analysis yet undertaken of the role of physics in  the growth and productivity of industries in Wales. It demonstrates that physics is not just the source of inventions and ideas, but also the means by which the country’s economic health can be secured.

The data in this report show that physics-based industries have a major impact on the creation of quality employment and increased productivity. However, the economic prosperity that physics brings does not happen without the continued support of the education, research and skills infrastructure.

The strength of current physics-based businesses in Wales is built on past investment in cutting-edge physics, and we know that it is often the basic, curiosity-driven research of today that inspires and underpins the applications and technologies of tomorrow.

For Wales to continue to benefit from a high-technology, high-productivity economy in the future then it must continue to invest in physics today – in schools, in higher and further education, in research and in the businesses that thrive on the fruits of physics.

The Institute of Physics is working with communities and stakeholders across the country to ensure that the benefits of physics are recognised and that the investment necessary for prosperity is secured.

The analysis in this report is pivotal to this effort.