The number of tech businesses in South Wales has risen by 28% in the past year, according to the latest UK Tech Nation Report. This exciting growth in digital capability will be discussed and celebrated in a special event at Tramshed Tech on Tuesday April 4th.
The 2017 Tech Nation Report shows that 17,471 people are now employed in the tech sector in South Wales, with a high average annual salary of £43,459, and a GVA of £392m, up from £369m last year, illustrating the growing value to Wales of the digital economy. Coupled with 89% of local start-ups claiming their overall quality of life is good, and 76% recognising a real growth potential for the tech sector in Wales, the future is looking bright.
This is the third annual report by Tech Nation. It highlights a number of success stories, including Cardiff & Swansea’s impressive digital tech clusters; the emerging academic courses building a work ready, skilled workforce at Cardiff University’s National Software Academy and the University of South Wales’ newly launched Cyber Academy; The Alacrity Foundation nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs; Innovation Point’s support for innovation funding; and Cardiff Start, connecting entrepreneurs through Wales’ largest start-up community. And there are many more.
Tech Nation promotes South Wales’ “burgeoning digital tech sector fueled by robust infrastructure, excellent universities and competitive costs. Only two hours from London, it is attracting an increasing number of businesses.”
One of the 103 tech start-ups in Wales in the past year, and a growing success story for Wales’ fast growing digital scene is Amplyfi, who are developing an artificial intelligence software platform set to revolutionise the business intelligence sector. Co-founder and CEO Chris Ganje said:
“We have tremendous support from core components of the Welsh innovation ecosystem: investment from Finance Wales, funding from the Welsh Government, backing by NatWest’s accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark, and access to some of Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs.”
The report highlights the new Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult based in Cardiff and Welsh Government’s largely unsung hero, the ‘Superfast Cymru’ programme. This offers connection to next-generation broadband, with connectivity spreading apace across Wales – a benefit largely unseen across the rest of the UK. The £1.28 billion Cardiff Capital Region City Deal plans include a world-class metro system and measures to drive digital innovation across south east Wales. Swansea Bay City Region’s £1.3 billion deal aims to transform the region into a digital super-hub building on the strengths of the local University and Tidal Lagoon. Plus the Development Bank of Wales, due to launch this year, will provide more than £1 billion of investment funding to innovative Welsh business.
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:
“The commercialisation and exploitation of digital technologies is key to innovation and economic growth and is a top priority for the Welsh Government. I want to ensure that the growth of this sector, and the associated benefits it delivers, are extended beyond our cities to the Valleys, rural Wales and the regions. To achieve this the Welsh Government will be taking a more interventionist role so areas throughout Wales also benefit from wealth creating opportunities and experience the sort of growth that the cities are enjoying.”
The 4th April Digital Tuesday event at Tramshed Tech, Cardiff, will explore how this emerging capability can be exploited to encourage greater growth. The evening will feature an insight from MB Christie, COO of Tech City, who compiled the report, discussion with Chris Ganje from Amplyfi, Welsh born DashHound founders, Helena Ford and Kirsty Williams talking about their experiences of working in Silicon Valley, and Innovation Point CEO David Warrender. The Digital Tuesday event is being organised by Innovation Point, Wales’ innovation company.
The report is here: http://technation.techcityuk.com/cluster/cardiff-and-swansea/