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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.

With today’s announcement, the 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:

  • 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 hundreds of world-leading speakers covering a wide range technologies and sectors from international brands throughout the week.

What’s on at Wales Tech Week

Featuring seven stages of insight and panel sessions across five days, Wales Tech Week will provide in-depth discussions and meaningful thought leadership across a wide variety of technologies. 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, across a smorgasbord of topics, from securing talent to diversity and business support. Strands throughout the week include:

  • Wales is Tech – As one of the UK’s fasting growing and most exciting industries, Welsh tech is rapidly transforming the way we live and work. Through these sessions, you’ll hear from international businesses on why they’ve chosen Wales as a base for their companies and the benefits of bringing business to Wales. You’ll also hear from indigenous Welsh businesses that have grown into internationally renowned organisations on how Wales is a great place to grow your tech business globally.
  • Learnings from International Leaders – Join international tech and business leaders for a series of roundtable discussions and exciting leadership sessions as they share their tips, knowledge and experience.
  • Working Smart with Academia – When industry, academia and government work together, anything’s possible. Discover collaboration opportunities with academia at Wales Tech Week.
  • Tech4All – Let’s bridge the gap together, from breaking ground, smashing ceilings and lightbulb moments find out why and how we must work together for the benefit of all.
  • Building a Career in Tech – The route into tech is not one way. Attendees will learn about career routes into technology, training opportunities and hear advice from those who have embarked on the journey.
  • Growing Success – Securing Investment & Scaling – Offering guidance for businesses the experts on our Investment Day will provide solid advice for the investment journey along with first-hand insight from investors. One not to be missed for those ambitious businesses seeking funding.
  • The Business Clinic – Professional support is key for any growing business, from building the right teams to maximising innovation and financial support experts will be on hand throughout this day.

Plus a smorgasbord, Showcases, Exhibitions and Networking opportunities throughout the week.

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.