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Vaughan Gething sets out plans to make Wales an innovation economy

Pictured: Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething with Avril Lewis (MD of Technology Connected) and Indro Mukerjee (CEO of Innovate UK). Credit: Michael Hall

Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething, has today (Monday, October 16) unveiled a first-of-its-kind action plan between a devolved nation and Innovate UK setting out how Wales will build a strengthened innovation economy.

Speaking at the start of Wales Tech Week at ICC Wales in Newport, the Minister was joined by the CEO of Innovate UK, Indro Mukerjee, to launch the joint Collaborative Innovation Plan.

The plan aims to harness the country’s innovative spirit, helping business and organisations share ideas and use new technologies.

It  follows through on commitments made over the past 12 months, building on the Welsh Government and Innovate UK  memorandum of understanding agreement in April.

This plan moves both parties one step further towards their shared ambition of driving up innovation investment and greater competitively won funding for Welsh research, development and innovation by setting out concrete actions and milestones to work towards.

Three areas of focus include:

  • Ensuring entrepreneurs, businesses, academia, public sector and third sector in Wales have a simple, connected, visible and effective route to access innovation support mechanisms.
  • Ensuring innovation stakeholders in Wales are aware of and engage with the opportunities available to them to increase the number, diversity, and positive impact of businesses innovating within Wales.
  • Using data to understand the demographics of Wales’ innovation community and actively seek to address inequalities in access to innovation support.

Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething said: “I’m delighted to launch our Collaborative Innovation Plan at the start of Wales Tech Week at an event filled with some of the most creative and forward-thinking people and businesses in tech.

“Among them are experts from across the Welsh Government’s priority regions including Catalonia, Flanders, the Basque Country, Silesia and Quebec, which provides us the perfect opportunity to showcase the progress we’re making towards the goals set out in our Innovation Strategy, ‘Wales Innovates’.

“Wales has never lacked ambition and this plan recognises the strengths and opportunities for growth within our economy.

“The Welsh Government is committed to strengthening innovation and the use of new technologies, which can support a greener Wales, with better health, better jobs and prosperity for all.”

CEO of Innovate UK, Indro Mukerjee said: “We are launching the Collaborative Innovation Plan which will support Wales’ economic growth and foster enhanced innovation. The Innovate UK team and I look forward to working alongside Minister Gething and his team to deliver an ambitious plan with joint initiatives, providing tailored support for Welsh businesses.”

The event for Wales Tech Week will include sessions on a range of subjects including cybersecurity and AI. As part of the programme, the Welsh Government will bring together a number of international experts from regions of strategic importance to Wales to explore how ethical, fair and safe AI solutions can benefit both our economy and wider society.