Welsh Government’s Minister for Economy & Transport Mr. Ken Skates and Minister for Education Ms. Kirsty Williams have updated members on the Welsh Government’s support in relation to steel research and development. On 11 February 2019, we were delighted to hear that Swansea University was appointed the lead University in a £ 35M project called SUSTAIN to research and innovate steel making and the steel supply chain to ensure steel can become sustainable in Wales and the UK. This project is supported by a £ 10M investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, with the rest of the funding coming from steel companies, university partners, trade bodies and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. Tata, Celsa and Liberty Steel are all partners in the network.This funding builds on Welsh Government investment of over £ 2M to establish the Steel and Metals Institute (SaMI) in Swansea University which opened in February 2018. Our investment in SaMI was also designed to establish Wales as one of the major centres of steel and metals research in the UK and to help to lever and secure further investment from wider Government and industry sources. Since its launch, the Institute has been awarded an additional £ 3M of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales to focus on smart steel processing and high value products such as electric powered vehicles, energy-efficient buildings and sustainable packaging. We would like to congratulate Swansea University on delivering on this ambition through the funding it has since attracted.Decarbonisation is at the heart of our new Economic Action Plan. The industrial sector accounted for 29% of Welsh emissions in 2016. Industrial emissions in Wales are dominated by iron and steel production and petroleum refining. There is an increasing focus within the steel sector and within Welsh Government on the importance of decarbonisation. We are required by law to reduce our emissions by at least 80% by 2050 and this will require very significant changes to how we all live and work.The Steel and Metals Institute at Swansea University will bring together industry and academia to work on common challenges, rapid product development and increase R&D in businesses. The Institute provides a valuable resource for companies to develop and test new products and processes with applications in automotive, construction, packaging, electrical steels lifting and excavating, energy and power, and aerospace as well as considering decarbonization. This is in addition to other successes Swansea University has had in the last 12 months which strengthens its links with the steel industry and wider advanced materials in Wales.Tata has also collaborated with Swansea University and Warwick University with £ 7M funding for a Prosperity Partnership to successfully bring a virtual factory approach to steel making. Prosperity Partnerships are EPSRC's flagship approach to co-investing with business in long-term, use-inspired, basic research. They are five-year, multimillion pound research collaborations on topics of national and global importance which have been co-created by leading UK universities and businesses with a strong research presence in the UK. Collectively these initiatives provide a substantial resource for Wales and reinforce our position as a region with progressive steel and metals research capability helping to secure a more sustainable future for the sector.