Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to open 2021 Wales Tech Week

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford will open Wales Tech Week 2021 in an exclusive keynote address on Monday 21st June 2021, as part of the week-long festival created to showcase the Welsh technology industry on a global stage.

The First Minister joins the event as latest figures show Wales as a world leader in the Coronavirus vaccine roll out, with 85% of the Welsh population having received their first dose of the vaccination, and more than 45% of adults having been fully vaccinated against the virus.

First Minister heads a prestigious line-up of world class, international speakers at the free-to-attend virtual festival, which runs from 21st – 25th June.

Confirmed keynote speakers at Wales Tech Week 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 more than 100 world leading speakers covering a wide range technologies and sectors from international brands throughout the week.

What’s on at Wales Tech Week

Wales Tech Week will feature seven stages of insight and panel sessions across the five days. The topics and stages for Wales Tech Week 2021 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 & more

Green Stage –Sustainability and the race to net zero is the challenge of our generation. With Wales ranking 4th in the world 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.

In addition to tech talks, Wales Tech Week 2021 will also focus on bringing the global technology and supporting industries together, with multiple strands throughout the week covering investment, manufacturing, diversity, thought leadership and international trade:

Now in its second year, Wales Tech Week is free-to-attend and has been created by non-profit organisation Technology Connected, as a platform to showcase Wales’ innovative technology sector on a global stage.

The festival, which runs from the 21st – 25th June, is 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

With dozens of events taking place across the festival, attendees are invited to view the full festival line up and secure their free digital pass here.

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 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 available now on the Wales Tech Week website.

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