Nic Fearn, editor of Tech Dragons, rounds up the latest technology news to emerge from Wales throughout the month of January 2018.
From a HealthTech firm raising £400,000 in its latest funding campaign to the launch of an online marketplace for students, last month turned out to be a great month for technology and innovation in Wales – and a glimpse into what else is set to come this year. Here’s our round-up.
Health tech firm raises £400,000
In January, Caerphilly-based technology firm Signum Health secured £400,000 of investment with the support of the Development Bank of Wales. To date, it’s raised £600,000 in cash.
The company also announced the appointment of professor Stephen Smith as its new chairman. He’s the former CEO of Imperial College NHS Trust and founder of the first Academic Health Science Centre in the UK.
Launched in 2016, the company is using artificial intelligence and cloud-based solutions to bring remote health care and support to local communities around the country.
Victoria Norman, founder and CEO of the firm, said: “This latest round of investment will help us to take Signum Health to the next stage of its development. We are already helping GPs surgeries around the UK and we can’t wait to see Signum Health used in every surgery in the country.”
Multi-million pound facility opens in North Wales
Last month, electrical engineering company LCA Group showed off its new multi-million pound, ‘state-of-the-art’ manufacturing facility in North Wales.
Ken Skates, the economy secretary at the Welsh Government, opened the new building. Based at the Hawarden Industrial Park, it’s named “Gibson” House in tribute to the famous Dambusters pilot.
The move brings together two existing LCA Group sites, which are based in Runcorn and Ewloe. LCA said the move will allow it to expand its service offer to customers around the globe.
The firm is looking to hire experienced control panel wiring experts too. Its managing director, Alan Sheppard, said 2018 will be a “critical year” for the firm.
“This new manufacturing facility – combined with our investment in new manufacturing and design innovation – means we start 2018 with a clear vision for growth,” he said.
Online marketplace for students opens
Cardiff-based technology startup Paperclip launched a new marketplace where students can buy, sell and swap products.
It joined forces with Student Money Saver to help university students save cash by trading and selling unwanted items instead of throwing them away.
Students can now access the service, which allows them to upload and sell items they no longer need. From textbooks to trainers, they can trade items with those in nearby accommodation.
Talking about the partnership, Paperclip co-founder Alan Small said: “We’re so proud to be working with Student Money Saver this year. A student marketplace isn’t just about saving money. It’s about being part of a community.
“And we couldn’t think of a better platform to work with than one which has helped so tremendously with student wellbeing.”
Alert Logic celebrates growth in Wales
Cybersecurity firm Alert Logic celebrated its three-year anniversary in Cardiff. Headquartered in Texas, the company expanded its UK presence to the Welsh capital in late 2014.
Working with the Welsh Government, the company has quickly become a crucial anchor for the UK’s cybersecurity cluster. It now employs 130 people in Wales.
Speaking about the success of the company, Welsh economy secretary Ken Skates said: “Alert Logic is a great success story for South Wales.
“In just three years the company has firmly settled into the region, becoming a significant employer offering high paid specialist jobs. The company is an active member and contributor to the growing Welsh Cyber Security community.”
David Howorth, SVP of EMEA at Alert Logic, said: “In the three years since we established our EMEA HQ in Cardiff Wales, we have seen a dramatic growth in our UK and international business and today this location services as a key operational and development hub for Alert Logic services.
“Our decision to locate in Cardiff and the ability to hire a wide range of talent has allowed Alert Logic to move from strength to strength, enabling us to help businesses large and small protect their sensitive data regardless of where their IT workloads reside – in the cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid environment.”
AI meet-up launches in Cardiff
Several technologists set up a Cardiff-based meet-up to explore the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence. AI Wales is the brainchild of Jaymie Thomas, chief technology officer of Automise; technology specialist David Pugh; and Toby White, from AI company Artimus.
Set to take place monthly, the event is aimed at technical people who want to learn about AI from scratch and will explore the latest trends in the constantly evolving area. “We’ll also be asking the members to shape the direction of the group, so we can give people information on what they want to learn,” said Jaymie.