Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, is to open Wales Tech Week 2021, a week-long festival showcasing the Welsh technology industry on an international stage.
The First Minister will make an exclusive keynote address at the free-to-attend virtual festival on Monday 21st June.
His appearance at the event comes as the latest data reveals Wales to be a world leader in the Coronavirus vaccine roll-out, with 85% of the Welsh population already having received their first dose and over 45% of adults having been fully vaccinated against the virus.
Wales Tech Week, which runs until Friday 25th June, will feature a prestigious line-up of world-class, international speakers.
Confirmed keynote speakers at include:
- Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales
- Aled Miles, President and CEO of Sauce Labs and Welsh Government Envoy to the United States
- Steve Hasker, President and CEO of Thomson Reuters
- Gerhard Watzinger, Chairman of the Board of CrowdStrike
- Ciaran Martin CB, Founder and former Director of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre and NATO advisor
- Warren East CBE, CEO of Rolls Royce
- Dr Andrew Rickman OBE, CEO and Founder of Rockley Photonics
- Tessa Clarke, CEO and founder of the UK’s number one food saving app OLIO
- Andrew Peters, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries
- Sally Meecham, CEO of the Centre for Digital Public Services in Wales
- Avril Lewis MBE, Managing Director of Technology Connected
With over 100 world-leading speakers covering an array of technologies and sectors from international brands throughout the week.
What’s on at Wales Tech Week
The festival will feature seven stages of insight and panel sessions across the five days. The topics and stages include:
- Main stage – Health, Manufacturing, Agritech, Fintech and Public services
- CS Connected Cluster Stage – Showcasing Wales’ international strength in clusters, Compound Semiconductors, Cyber, Creative and introducing Photonics and Blockchain
- Wynne-Jones IP Smart Stage – Covering all aspects of ‘smart’ technology including assisted living, smart info services, smart recovery and more
- Green Stage – Sustainability and the race to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions is the challenge of our generation. With Wales fourth in the global recycling league table, Wales Tech Week will have a dedicated focus on how technology can improve our planet. The green stage will cover a wide variety of topics including Net Xero Industry, Renewables, Driving the Electric Revolution and the Circular Economy.
Wales Tech Week 2021 will also look at bringing the global technology and supporting industries together, with numerous strands across the week covering investment, manufacturing, diversity, thought leadership and international trade:
Now in its second year, the festival has been created by non-profit organisation Technology Connected as a global platform for Wales’ innovative technology sector.
It’s made possible through the support of the Welsh Government and its festival partners: Associate Partner Innovate UK, AgriTech Theme partners AberInnovation and Aberystwyth University, Cluster Stage Partner CS Connected, Smart Stage Partner Wynne-Jones IP, Supporting Partners CapVentis, Creo Medical, PwC, Thales UK & the Development Bank of Wales, Smart Event partners Costain & Smart Energy UK, Global Partner GlobalWelsh and Health Innovation Partner, Life Sciences Hub.
Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales, said: “The pandemic has highlighted just how important a vibrant, innovative technology industry is to our society, economy and daily lives.
“From supporting us with the data, insight and tools to help understand the virus and its impact, helping to keep our economy moving and evolving, right down to keeping us connected with our loved ones in difficult times. For any country, a vibrant, growing and collaborative technology eco-system is fundamental.
“Wales is a small country, but we have a diverse range of truly innovative organisations and talented people. The influence of Welsh tech is being felt throughout the world, we’re proud to support our technology industry but the real key to its success is helping to foster a spirit of collaboration across sectors and countries.
“Wales Tech Week provides an opportunity to showcase our technology industry on a global stage and supports this idea of success and prosperity through collaboration. I look forward to joining the international tech community as we celebrate and showcase Welsh tech to the world and continue to work together to build an inclusive future to benefit everyone.”
Avril Lewis MBE, managing director of Technology Connected, said: “Now in our second year, we’re delighted to have attracted a stellar line-up of keynote speakers for this year’s event, bringing international insight and expertise to the festival.
“Wales Tech Week has been created as a diverse and inclusive virtual festival to help bring together the international community and showcase technologies created here in Wales that are tackling some of our great societal challenges.
“With hundreds of speakers over the five days, there really is something for everyone at this year’s Wales Tech Week, and we have been overwhelmed at the response and support we have received so far. We’re honoured to announce that the First Minister will be opening our flagship festival, demonstrating Wales’ support for its vibrant technology sector.”
Wales Tech Week 2021 will run as a virtual event from 21st – 25th of June with registrations for free digital passes now available on the Wales Tech Week website.