The radio spectrum is a finite natural resource. Demand for it is increasing dramatically, largely arising from an increase in the number of wireless devices and the growing quantities of data being transmitted over the internet. The radio spectrum is essential for running a modern economy and, therefore, an important part of a nation’s soft infrastructure. The aim of the NSC will be to develop products that use the radio spectrum and to increase the productivity of this finite resource. The NSC will develop a hub of radio spectrum expertise and it will enhance delivery of the UK’s Spectrum Strategy which aims to increase the spectrum’s economic contribution to £104 billion by 2025. Establishing the NSC in Mid Wales and drawing on local expertise and other locational advantages, it will boost the local, as well as the Welsh and UK economies. Mid Wales is largely a rural based economy with a low population density and employment growth that lags behind the UK and Welsh average. It has an ageing population, with a significant number of young working age individuals leaving the area to find work. This outflow is partly driven by low wages. Local businesses’ growth is hampered by poor mobile and internet coverage. Residents living in sparsely populated rural locations also require access to reliable broadband and internet networks to meet their needs. Both local residents and businesses would gain directly from the work of the NSC. For employment Mid Wales relies heavily on public administration & defence; agriculture; education and health; accommodation and food services. Self-employment in a number of these sectors accounts for a significant proportion of the employment base. The NSC has the potential to generate economic growth and offer high income employment. The cluster created by the location of the NSC in Mid Wales will increase and enhance knowledge transfer and expertise amongst companies. In training specialists in the field and providing business access to spectrum development facilities, the NSC will increase business and employment opportunities in the area. The output of the NSC will have a positive impact on the future of the radio spectrum industry and employment both in Wales and the UK. Key sectors interested in the development of the radio spectrum industry include defence and security, agriculture, manufacturing, food and drink, the health service and mobile data. The adoption of new and innovative spectrum technologies represent a keys opportunity for all these sectors to develop their national and international competitiveness. The proposed site for the National Spectrum Centre in rural Mid Wales offers a unique and ideal geographical location for testing radio spectrum products. Facilities provided by Aberystwyth University, the Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Centre and QinetiQ for radio spectrum research, development and testing will build on this. The NSC will own and have access to test and experiment facilities across Wales. For example, QinetiQ’s facilities in Aberporth, with their access to segregated airspace; access to Air, Sea and Land; radar experimentation; UAS expertise and testing facilities. The establishment of the NSC in Mid Wales has backing from Ceredigion County Council and the Welsh Government. A letter of support has been received from UK MoD and interest in the NSC has been shown by the Home Office. The NSC has been prioritised by the Growing Mid Wales Partnership (Mid Wales Growth Deal) and other key funding bodies, due to its potential for transformational impact in Mid Wales. The NSC will generate positive economic impacts across Mid Wales in terms of job creation, increased wages and capital investment as well as new business creations. The operation of the NSC will also impact positively on local businesses as well as the tourism and the food and drink sectors. The work predicts that the operation of the NSC could support between 42 and 66.5 jobs in the local area.
|Publisher||Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University|
|Number of pages||56|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Aug 2020|