Thales reveals Ebbw Vale's cyber security research base


Thales is at the naval equipment trade showImage copyright
Thales / Q Reytinas

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Naval defense technology being demonstrated at a fair

A major technology company is setting up a £ 20 million research and development center in South Wales.

French-owned Thales works in the defense, aerospace and transport industries and already operates in 12 locations in other parts of the UK.

The planned center at The Works in Ebbw Vale would be a testing platform for digital security innovations.

He said it would offer a "catalyst for regeneration" in the region.

The first 11 people will start next month before the full center is in operation until 2021.

The group is involved in the development of highly complicated electrical systems that are used in everything from anti-aircraft systems to cyber-security.

The National Center for Digital Exploration (NDEC) will also involve a partnership with the University of South Wales.

What is significant in this project is that, unlike many other investments, innovative products and systems would be projected here, and then companies would have to bid to build them.

This compares to the Airbus, with wings made in Flintshire, but designed in Toulouse.

Bowman, whose tactical system is used by the Army is designed in Canada, but made in Oakdale, Caerphilly.

That would mean that the most profitable part of the new technologies – the appropriation of the idea – would remain here.

The hope is that, with intellectual property and expertise in Wales, it will act as a catalyst to attract manufacturers.

Gareth Williams, the UK vice president for secure communications and information systems, who is himself the area, said: "This will act as a cornerstone of our UK cyber security capabilities by providing a test base for the our catalytic converter of regeneration in the region ".

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Denys Liger / THALES

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Thales is involved in flight simulator technology, including for helicopters

Who is Thales?

  • The French group Thales – the French government has a stake – has 64,000 employees in 56 countries
  • It operates in five areas – aerospace, space, transport, defense and security – and had a turnover of € 15.8 billion in 2017
  • It has operations in 12 locations in the UK including 500 jobs in Northern Ireland in the former Missile Shorts factory
  • Builds satellites and technology on the International Space Station; is an important provider of air traffic control systems, as well as entertainment and flight simulators. Airport and cybersecurity are another important area
  • Their defense technologies range from communication, radar and surveillance to aircraft carriers. He is also involved in urban transport systems – as well as an agreement to upgrade London subway trains.

The Welsh government equaled Thales' £ 10m investment with support. Construction work at the new center should begin in the spring.

The new Ebbw Vale center will focus on systems to protect the safety of power stations and railways, water, telecommunications and air traffic control.

Last May, Thales and the Welsh government said they would be developing a cyber security center in Ebbw Vale, which is now becoming a reality.

Economy Minister Ken Skates said he was "at the center" of the Welsh government's Tech Valleys project and was confident it would create jobs for high-value companies.

"The center will help ensure that Wales explores global digital transformation opportunities, provides a foundation for innovative research and equips companies of all shapes and sizes with the skills and knowledge needed to win over a larger share of large regional and global organizations. national ". projects, "he said.


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