Newport tech incubator Alacrity partners with ONS

Matthew Hancock, the minister for the Cabinet Office, paid a visit to South Wales yesterday to unveil a partnership between the Office for National Statistics and Newport-based tech incubator Alacrity.

The new partnership is aimed at bringing Alacrity’s digital expertise to ONS, which is one of Newport’s biggest employers, as it continues to develop and modernise key UK economic statistics.

Alacrity is the UK’s only charity tech incubator, and its mission is to mentor Wales’s brightest graduates so they become a new generation of British digital workers. The minister visited the incubator and discovered the digital revolution taking place there.

His visit saw him meet students going through Alacrity’s Graduate Entrepreneurship Programme as well as a handful of companies that have completed it. He also had a chance to visit the ONS headquarters based in Newport.

Matthew Hancock, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “Digital technology has the potential to revitalise government and business, supporting the economy and the UK.

“The potential to revolutionise and build organisations through high quality digital skills should not be underestimated, and businesses such as Alacrity are changing the digital landscape of Wales through training and developing skills.”

Professor Simon Gibson, chair of the Alacrity Foundation’s trustees, said: “I am delighted Alacrity and the ONS are collaborating to accelerate the growth of Wales’ and the United Kingdom’s digital economies.

“We are proud of our unique status as a charitable tech incubator, providing access to seasoned world class mentors and creating the next generation of British tech companies in Wales.

“For this reason it seems entirely appropriate we should forge a relationship with a world class body like the ONS,” said Professor Simon Gibson, chair of the Alacrity Foundation’s Trustees.

John Pullinger, national statistician from the Office of National Statistics, added:  “As the home of the UK’s economic statistics, it is vitally important that ONS Newport fully embraces the current revolution in data technology.

“It offers the ability to produce important economic indicators like employment, prices and GDP faster and more reliably than ever before.   To do so we need to develop new skills and new ways of doing things.

“We will be looking to work closely with impressive local initiatives such as the Alacrity Foundation and the National Software Academy to help make it happen.”

Image credit: Simon Cunningham