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About this topic

Technology, innovation and science are fundamental in order for the Welsh economy to grow.

Responsibilities

We aim to encourage more people to gain skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), to develop Wales’ potential for economic growth. By investing in skills, our digital infrastructure and job creation, we will create a more prosperous future for Wales.

Aims and commitments

  • We want Wales to be a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous society. Making sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of technology is a key part of that.
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) skills will be part of all our children’s education, and we will use technology to improve teaching and learning.  Beyond schools, we will ensure that everyone in Wales can acquire the basic skills and confidence to get online and use digital technologies.
  • We will also help train people in more specialist skills for industry.
  • We want to drive economic growth. We will support Welsh companies to network with research departments to create and commercialise new digital technologies. We will help more Welsh companies to exploit these developments to innovate, grow and access new markets, especially in the creative industries, ICT and tourism sectors.
  • We will make more public and government services digital so they are easier to access and become more efficient and convenient. Through effective use of technology, people will be able to better deliver these services, and maximise use of resources.
  • We will achieve parity in competitively funded science research with other UK nations.
  • Seek to ensure that all residential premises and all businesses in Wales will have access to Next Generation Broadband by 2016, with the ambition that 50 per cent or more have access to 100Mbps.
  • We will work to deepen academic-business partnerships and encourage collaboration with the very best research groups across the world. This will include considering proposals for closer integration of the research, innovation and commercial development stages of the national programme.
  • We will improve the health and well-being of the Welsh population by ensuring effective translation of health research to benefit our people and the Welsh economy.
  • We will engage more young people in science through the National Science Academy.
  • We will strengthen coordination and leadership in all stages of building our science base – through the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Science Advisory Council for Wales; the National Science Academy; our universities; our industry sector panels; a new strategic advisory group for innovation; the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; a new Labour Market Intelligence Unit; and enhanced careers advice, as well as European Funding. We will seek greater collaboration across all sectors as we seek to build on our national strengths.
  • We aim for the proportion of research achieving 3* and 4* quality and impact levels in Wales’ universities to reach the  highest UK level (55 per cent achieved by England), or its equivalent, in the new Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Structure

The lead civil servant for the department is James Price.  Our staff are mainly located in Cardiff and Treforest, but are also based in other locations across Wales including Llandudno and Swansea.