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  • Mae'r tîm @PrifysgolBangor a @PrifysgolAbertawe yn bwriadu cynnal rhagor o waith gyda'r sector morol Cymru mewn project newydd SEACAMS2.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the SEACAMS project?

SEACAMS stands for Sustainable Expansion of the Applied Coastal and Marine Sectors. It is a unique venture between Bangor, Swansea and Aberystwyth Universities designed to bring together internationally recognised marine science expertise to support businesses working in Wales and deliver innovation to the sector. The project fosters close working relationships with both new and established businesses, helping to make innovative ideas a commercial reality. We offer a wide range of support from dedicated laboratories to a fleet of research vessels, equipment and the expertise of our staff. Our objective is to expand the marine and coastal sector in Wales. We would like your business to benefit from that.

How is SEACAMS funded?

SEACAMS is funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), part of the Welsh Government, under the Convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

What is Convergence funding?

Convergence funding is European money allocated to progress Convergence regions’ transformation into a sustainable and competitive economy by helping new and existing companies grow. Funding is designed to stimulate economic activity and to increase skills and employment. The Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) is part of the Welsh Government and manages the delivery of these funds in Wales. Convergence funding in Wales is designed to drive investment into the Convergence region.

Which areas are the Convergence region?

The Convergence region for Wales covers 15 local authority areas in West Wales and the Valleys. They comprise: Isle of Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen.

Who can work with SEACAMS?

SEACAMS is funded to help Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Wales’ Convergence region. If you are a business outside Wales your work must benefit the Convergence region to qualify for support. As this is a business focused project, we are unable to work with regulatory bodies, central government, local authorities or government bodies. SEACAMS can also work with larger companies (subject to eligibility). When working with SEACAMS you will be asked to complete a form to assess your eligibility to work with us. If you are not sure whether you qualify, please contact us and we will discuss your eligibility and how we can assist you.

How much will working with SEACAMS cost my business?

Working with SEACAMS does not require your business to make any financial contribution. There are 2 types of project that we can work with you on:

1. Assistance projects

These are short projects, usually lasting no more than two or three days, in which SEACAMS provides assistance to you under State Aid ‘De Minimis’ regulations. In order to minimise distortion of competition the European Commission sets limits on how much assistance can be given to organisations operating in a competitive market. There is a ceiling of €200,000 for all ‘De Minimis’ aid provided to any one organisation over a three fiscal year period (i.e. the current fiscal year and the previous two fiscal years). We will assess your project and what State Aid you have had in the past to ensure you qualify for SEACAMS support. Assistance from SEACAMS has a ‘De Minimus’ value of £ 500 a day. At the end of the assistance project we will supply you with a statement that illustrates the amount of ‘De Minimis’ funding your business has received from SEACAMS which you will be required to declare when requested by any other aid awarding body, UK public authority or the European Commission. Please contact us if you would like more information on State Aid and De Minimis regulations.

2. Collaborative Research and Development projects

These are larger projects, lasting from a few weeks to years, conducted on a research and development basis as a collaborative project and usually follow on from a short assistance project. On collaborative projects we will work with you; we are able to provide free facilities and expertise while you provide contributions in kind based upon tasks that need to be achieved to complete the project. For example, you may be given access to our fleet of research vessels and your employees may work on the vessel conducting parts of your experiments in conjunction with our experts. Since these research projects are conducted on a collaborative basis, they are not subject to ‘De Minimis’ funding regulations. For collaborative research projects to run on a ‘No Aid’ basis there has to be a balanced collaboration between SEACAMS and yourselves to ensure we do not infringe on consultancy.

Do SEACAMS offer grants to businesses?

No. We are not able to offer grants to businesses. Our support is not in the form of money, but access to facilities and expertise. However, working with SEACAMS may provide you with supporting material for grant applications and we can signpost you to other organisations that offer financial support.

If I work collaboratively with SEACAMS who owns the Intellectual Property Rights?

All intellectual property rights (IPR) owned by you at the start of the project are retained by you. Where new intellectual property results from a collaborative research project SEACAMS would have an equal share in the new IPR which would reflect SEACAMS’ work on the project. We would discuss IPR with you before commencing any collaboration project to ensure all parties are in agreement. In part for this reason, all research and development projects require a Collaboration Agreement to be signed.

Would SEACAMS publish the results of the research?

We recognise that some research conducted is likely to be ‘commercial in confidence’ and we have no interest in publishing information that would jeopardise the commercial success of the project, future applications or potential sales/profit to your company. Where scientific information is gathered during the course of the project that is not commercially sensitive we would consult with you and seek to publish if that was appropriate. Note this would usually benefit the commercial objectives of the project and raise the profile of your business.

Can we work with SEACAMS on more than one project?

Yes, you can work on more than one project, but these projects need to be sufficiently different from each other. Where you have a range of projects that are similar, it is worthwhile discussing them with a member of our SEACAMS team to see whether they can be combined into a comprehensive research programme.

What SEACAMS facilities are available?

A wide range of facilities are available from access to a fleet of Research Vessels to laboratory and computing facilities.

Visit our facilities pages to find out more.

Am I restricted to working with the university nearest to me?

No, within SEACAMS you may work with Bangor, Swansea or Aberystwyth University or a combination of all 3 institutions. You may contact whichever university you wish. We will be able to understand what skills and facilities are required and where these are located within SEACAMS. We want to offer you the best from each university to provide comprehensive support to your business.