© EST net General | June 27, 2017
Wales and high-tech for the world
What do you do to show the world that Wales isn't just sheep and green valleys? You showcase the circa 3'000 businesses and over 40'000 people who, alongside universities, are driving the progression of the Welsh tech sector.
The gala celebration at the Wales Millennium Centre, which takes place during the Wales Festival of Innovation, saw six of the country’s companies and organisations awarded the Welsh technology industry’s highest accolades. Speaking at the Wales Technology Awards, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, said: “Innovation helps drive the UK economy forward. Not only can it revolutionise the way we live our lives, it can bring real opportunities for businesses to tap into and grow. Innovate UK is the UK Government’s innovation agency working with people, companies and partner organisations to help them do just that. I applaud the achievements of the winners and all the nominees of these awards. I hope your success will inspire the innovators of the future to unleash their own ideas and deliver exciting opportunities across Wales, the UK and the world.” Mr Cairns’ address echoed the sentiments of ESTnet managing director, Avril Lewis. Reflecting on the quality of this year’s record-breaking number of award entries, and the opportunities that lie ahead for the industry, Ms Lewis, said: “Tonight our industry comes together to celebrate all that we have achieved over the past year, as we strive to ensure Wales is recognised as the innovative nation we know it to be. Wales is a small, agile and dynamic country, which punches well above its weight when it comes to developing the enabling technologies that advance the way we all work and live. The importance of the Welsh technology sector cannot be overstated. We are nation of innovators and enablers, the applications of the technology we create are far-reaching and pervasive. This evening’s finalists exemplify this fact. The products they design, develop and integrate, underpin all sectors and touch upon limitless international markets." The successful finalists included, Cardiff University’s National Software Academy, James Smith, CEO of DevOpsGuys, Alina Griestaragiene, Senior Device Engineer at Infineon Technologies Newport Ltd, Wealthify, Wales Interactive, and Ysgol Cae Top.
- Best New Talent: Alina Griestaragiene, Senior Device Engineer at Infineon Technologies Newport - Judges were particularly impressed by Alina’s strategic skill set, which has enabled her to take a lead role in shaping the future of the business when sourcing new suppliers and streamlining core business processes. The judging panel also recognised Alina’s quick progression and proven ability to utilise her technical knowledge, to identify and efficiently resolve potential issues before they impacted on production and customer delivery. Alina Griestaragiene, Senior Device Engineer at Infineon Technologies Newport, said: “It’s a great honour to be nominated and to win this award. I’m grateful to be recognised for my work and achievements. I’d like to thank the team I work with and particular my manager Richard Bullock, mentor Jason Matthews and all of our company.”
- Best Tech Adopter: Ysgol Cae Top - Bangor’s Ysgol Cae Top primary school saw off stiff competition from other schools and organisations across Wales, for its innovative use of technology which alleviates time pressures for staff and reduce costs through the use of the app, eeZeeTrip. The app, which was made by Llandudno based software firm Semantise Ltd, allows schools to organise attendance and payments for school clubs, external trips, music lessons, sports fixtures. In addition to eliminating the curse of the lost permission slips, the app provides environmental advantages in paper reduction, and saves school’s administrator and teacher time. Llew Davies, Headteacher at Ysgol Cae Top, said: “It’s excellent to see the product celebrated and we hope we’re setting an example for other schools to follow. Schools don’t need to be told what they need, we should be going out to the private sector telling them what we need to help children learn.” The app allows the school to communicate with parents about upcoming events and to manage responses and consent forms via the free cloud-based mobile app. Reponses are immediately visible and the payment option saves parents time while the ‘shopping basket’ feature allows parents to pay for multiple actions in a single transaction. Judges were particularly impressed by the school’s application of the app to increase opportunities for students and parents while streamlining resources and decreasing overheads.