More than 60 new engineering jobs could be created in Aberystwyth.

In a “pioneering” new scheme, a National Spectrum Centre could be established in partnership between Aberystwyth University and QinetiQ.

The Welsh Government has given £60,000 to develop the plans.

The university estimates that between 42 and 66.5 permanent positions could be created, as well as up to 172 temporary construction jobs during the development of the centre.

“Developments in spectrum engineering and innovation and the start-up companies forming as a result of the NSC will create new opportunities for employment and training for the Mid Wales workforce and population,” a report by the Aberystwyth Business School says.

The centre would train the next generation of radio spectrum and systems engineers, and upskill current engineers to harness the potential of radio spectrum technologies - infrastructure that enables wireless connectivity.

Economy minister Ken Skates said: “Aberystwyth University has a unique opportunity to help reimagine the Welsh economy and create an ecosystem between government, industry and academia to train the next generation of engineers in spectrum-based innovation, research and testing. This will offer huge economic benefits to Mid Wales in driving forward the latest digital technologies and helping strengthen our resilience to some of the biggest global challenges we face.

“The National Spectrum Centre development has enormous potential and the fact it could create a number of highly skilled jobs created is very welcome news.”

Prof Elizabeth Treasure, vice-chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said: “We want to see the National Spectrum Centre becoming a driving force in the development and testing of the next generation of wireless technologies needed by Wales and the wider UK.

“Its establishment will also help spur the creation of new, high-value jobs in Mid Wales.”

The centre is a key plank in the Growing Mid Wales partnership which includes Ceredigion and Powys councils and other organisations.

Cllr Rhodri Evans, Ceredigion council Cabinet member responsible for economy and regeneration, said the council “welcomes” the scheme.

“It fits our ambition for Mid Wales to host leading programmes of advance research,” he said. “We want to see more high-value jobs available in the region; this centre could provide one route to achieve this.”

In its first phase, the NSC will be based in the Lord Milford building on Aberystwyth University’s Gogerddan campus while the university’s Department of Physics will develop a new package of postgraduate modules in radio spectrum engineering.

Ultimately, new infrastructure and bespoke testing facilities for wireless technologies will be needed in a range of locations in Ceredigion and Powys.