Secretary of State for Wales joins the celebration of Wales tech industry

Alun Cairns, the Secretary of State for Wales, joined the ESTnet to celebrate the outstanding success of the Welsh technology industry.

More than 370 members and guests of the ESTnet, which is the network for Welsh technology sector, attended the Wales Technology Awards last Thursday.

The event took place at the Wales Millennium Centre and praised the contributions made by over 3,000 businesses and 40,000 people who are driving the Welsh tech industry.

Sponsored by Sony UK, it coincided with the Wales Festival of Innovation and saw six of the country’s leading companies awarded with the industry’s highest accolades.

Successful finalists included Cardiff University’s National Software Academy; James Smith, CEO of DevOpsGuys; Alina Griestaragiene, senior device engineer at Infineon Technologies Newport Ltd;  Wealthify; Wales Interactive; and Ysgol Cae Top.

Mr Cairns took to the stage to present the highly-respected Sir Michael Moritz Tech Start-up Award to Cardiff-based fintech firm Wealthify, which has created a robo-investing platform.

Speaking at the Wales Technology Awards, Mr Cairns said: “Innovation helps drive the UK economy forward. Not only can it revolutionise the way we live our lives, it can bring real opportunities for businesses to tap into and grow.

“Innovate UK is the UK Government’s innovation agency working with people, companies and partner organisations to help them do just that.

“I applaud the achievements of the winners and all the nominees of these awards.  I hope your success will inspire the innovators of the future to unleash their own ideas and deliver exciting opportunities across Wales, the UK and the world.”

Cairns’ address echoed the sentiments of ESTnet managing director, Avril Lewis. She said: “Tonight our industry comes together to celebrate all that we have achieved over the past year, as we strive to ensure Wales is recognised as the innovative nation we know it to be.

“Wales is a small, agile and dynamic country, which punches well above its weight when it comes to developing the enabling technologies that advance the way we all work and live. The importance of the Welsh technology sector cannot be overstated.

“We are nation of innovators and enablers, the applications of the technology we create are far-reaching and pervasive. This evening’s finalists exemplify this fact.

“The products they design, develop and integrate, underpin all sectors and touch upon limitless international markets.”