TD Weekly (27/09/2019)

From an awards win for a Cardiff-based social enterprise to a new board to spearhead high-speed broadband rollout across Wales, here are the latest Welsh tech stories. 

Cardiff technology enterprise wins at Social Business Wales Awards 2019

Innovate Trust, a social enterprise based in Cardiff, has been crowned the winner of this year’s tech for good category at the 2019 Social Business Wales Awards.

The firm was recognised for using its smart speaker technology to improve the levels of wellbeing and independence of the people it supports. 

Founded in 1967, Innovate Trust provides supported living services to over 275 people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and physical impairments across Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taff. 

Derek Walker, CEO of the Wales Co-operative Centre CEO, said: “The quality of nominees this year was outstanding. It is so important that we recognise the hard work of these social businesses and the impact they have on our society.

“On behalf of all of us at the Wales Co-operative Centre, we want to congratulate all of the worthy winners and wish them luck as they head to the Social Enterprise UK Awards.”

New partnership for Digital Profile

Careers platform Digital Profile has teamed up with employability and skills provider Fedcap to deliver a government scheme to help those with health and disability issues find sustainable jobs.

The programme, called Intensive Personalised Employment Support, will provide specialized support to people with health conditions or disabilities. Fedcap is parenting with different organisations to run the programme.

Brian Bell, Chief Executive Officer at Fedcap, said: “We believe that by working with Digital Profile we will help people we can help people to bring out the real talent that they have – and help to find the right match with the right employers. It’s the sort of innovation that really can make a difference to people’s lives. 

Founded by Welsh tech entrepreneur Dan Lewis, Digital Profile helps job seekers find roles that match their skills. It provides users with personalised career matches and professional development and aims to replace the traditional CV.

He said: “We’re hugely excited to be working with Fedcap Employment in helping people into employment. This is a great opportunity for the company to grow and be in the position to help so many individuals into work.”

Openreach creates Welsh board 

Looking to underline its commitment to Wales and greater independence from BT Group, Openreach has set up a Welsh board.

Openreach said its Cymru Wales Board will “represent the teams of engineers and support staff working across Wales and “provide guidance and direction to the organisation throughout the nation”. 

The board recently held its first meeting in Cardiff at the Principality Stadium and was led by  Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure development. 

She said: “There’s a great deal of work going on in Wales to extend fibre broadband even further across the country and to future proof the network for generations to come.

“The decision to establish an Openreach Cymru Wales Board reflects the investments we’re making across the nation and the importance we place on getting this right for our customers in Wales.”

New space centre for North Wales

The UK Space Agency will provide £500,000 of funding to support the development of the proposed spaceport at Llanbedr Airfield.

This will be used to create a centre for space research and development, training and satellite based in Snowdonia. Officials said it will build on Llanbedr Airfield’s rich heritage in experimental flight testing.

Kevin Foster MP, UK government minister for Wales, said: “This is an exciting time for the space sector in Wales. With this new UK Government funding we have the opportunity to play a significant role in shaping the future space economy.

“A spaceport at Llanbedr would cement our reputation for innovation and take Wales into the commercial space age, creating jobs and strengthening the aerospace supply chain across the country.”