Funding of £13m has been awarded to compound semiconductor research – the technology behind smartphones, tablets and satellite communications.
The EU grant will help to build, equip and run a “state-of-the-art” clean room at Cardiff University’s Institute for Compound Semiconductor.
Its research will be developed into new products and services.
The university said it would “generate prosperity in south Wales through industrial innovation”.
The centre, set up by the university and St Mellons-based hi-tech company IQE in 2015, brings together scientists and businesses to work on innovations.
In January 2016, the then Chancellor George Osborne revealed plans to invest £50m in the “ground-breaking new innovation centre”.