TD Weekly (02/08/2019)

From plans for a new high-tech research in Cardiff to the launch of a £50 million EdTech fund, here are the latest stories from the Welsh tech scene. 

New science research facility for Cardiff

Cardiff University will establish a high-tech scientific research centre after securing £3.6 million of EU funds. 

Electron Microscope Facility, set to be based at the university’s Innovation Campus,  will work with Welsh industry partners to develop cleaner, greener and low-cost products. 

It’ll provide researchers with a suite of next-generation, ultra-sensitive microscopes to study materials and processes on the atomic scale. 

Counsel general and Brexit minister, Jeremy Miles said: “This investment will support major research collaborations between Cardiff University and industry which will lead to the development of new, innovative and sustainable manufacturing techniques.”

“Research carried out at this facility will also help the UK to transition to a more sustainable low carbon economy – and boost Cardiff University, and Wales as a whole, as a centre for scientific study.”

£50 million EdTech fund launched 

Local authorities across Wales will benefit from £50 million of funding to upgrade technology equipment within schools.

The Welsh Government is expanding Hwb, a programme aimed at improving the use of digital technology for teaching and learning.

It said the additional funding will be used to equip schools with the new EdTech equipment and gain a greater understanding of Wales’ digital infrastructure.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “This funding provides us with the opportunity to deliver a more sustainable EdTech model for schools, with local authorities working collaboratively to ensure consistency across Wales.

“The money will also guarantee that schools are better equipped to embrace the changes brought about by the new Curriculum for Wales, and further demonstrates our commitment to digital learning, highlighting the importance technology plays within education.”

Global software company opens Cardiff office 

International brand protection software company Incopro has opened an office in Cardiff two years after establishing a facility in Caerphilly.

Incopro has turned the original Cardiff Fish Market into a state-of-the-art office that will cater for 50 employees. It plans to recruit 25 people over the coming months. 

The firm has developed a range of big data and machine learning products to help protect many of the world’s leading brands online. 

Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “Incopro provides a vital service to leading brands across the world, protecting them from increasingly sophisticated criminal enterprises using cutting edge technological innovation.

“I am delighted we have been able to provide support for their ambitious growth plans, which will see this exciting company create jobs for more highly skilled professionals here in Wales.”

Swansea tech start-up raises £350,000

QuoteOnSite, a technology start-up based in Swansea, has raised £350,000 to push ahead with a scale-up campaign over the next few months.

The deal consists of £200,000 from co-investor Deri Green, with £150,000 coming from the Development Bank of Wales Technology Seed Fund. 

With the funds, the firm has hired four staff and plans to expand its team this year. It’ll also use the investment to support user experience, research and software development, and marketing.

TJ Amas, co-founder of QuoteOnSite said: “The investment has enabled us to now work full-time on QuoteOnSite and grow a team around us to make the product the best it can be.  

“We’re now starting to get traction in the market with a solid sales and marketing strategy. Being located at the TechHub Swansea is allowing us to meet customers as well as providing a great working space.”

Fintech company unveils recruitment drive

Fintech company PH Innovate, headquartered in Torfaen, has embarked on a recruitment drive after launching a multi-cover product for the insurance market. 

The firm, based at Mamhilad Park Estate, has created six new jobs and three more in technology development. By the end of the year, it hopes employment opportunities will increase to 10. 

Managing director David Harlow said: “We have handpicked individuals with specific skills required for the initial rollout of this specialist insurance product.”

Speaking about the new product, he added: “Three Castles offers high-quality multi-insurance covering everything from homes insurance to pets and all things in between under a single umbrella.

“People with more than one home, perhaps a main home, a holiday home and buy to lets, may also have numerous cars and pets. Through Three Castles we will be able to quote to cover all these under the one policy covered using all A plus rated insurance providers.”