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Wales: The UK's newest tech hub

AI company Delineate setting up in Wales heralds a new dawn for the Welsh tech industry.

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With the news that AI tech company Delineate has chosen West Wales as the location for its centre of operations for its global customer base, all eyes are on Wales as the UK’s newest potential tech hub.

A leading research and AI technology enterprise, Delineate focuses on new techniques of gathering consumer insights and boasts Samsung and Rimmel London among its high-profile clients.

The new Delineate headquarters, set to employ 50 people, will be based in the Welsh coastal county of Ceredigion, where the recent introduction of high-speed broadband has been credited with bringing industry and prospects to the area.

Delineate founder and CEO James ‘JT’ Turner said that he fell “in love with rural Wales over 25 years ago”, so Ceredigion was “the natural choice” for the company’s headquarters.

While Delineate is the first tech company to establish operations specifically in Ceredigion, the tech industry in other parts of Wales is long-established. Business Reporter notes that Wales has, for some time, been an international leader in the area of cyber security, due in part to the British military sites which dot the landscape – especially the Severn Valley Cyber Security Cluster, which includes South Wales.

Business Reporter also pointed to the numbers of tech graduates, particularly those specialising in cyber security, produced by Welsh universities as another key factor contributing to Wales’s tech boom. Combined with the number of Governmental databases located in the country - including Newport’s the Office for National Statistics and a regional Passport Office - Wales has supported the UK to become recognised as a key player in cyber security on the international stage.

And while Wales is an established cyber technology hub, Delineate is the first AI company to begin trading there. The move bodes well for the future of the Welsh tech industry, as the links between AI and cyber security strengthen.

The latest reports show a basic cyber skills gap in 50% of all UK businesses – not only as a result of a general lack of cyber technology experts, but also due to the rapidly changing nature of the industry. However, this situation potentially yields a dual opportunity for the Welsh tech sector.

The first prong of this relates to the opportunities which will continue to be afforded to Welsh cyber security graduates, whose skills are required throughout the UK. The second relates to the fact that AI is set to support companies struggling to protect themselves from cyber attacks, offering strong solutions to understaffed organisations.

Due to the ever-changing nature of cyber attacks, a combination of AI technology which can sift through large swathes of data to pinpoint risks, combined with the cyber technology talent being produced by Welsh universities, can potentially work to provide an invaluable and consistently in-demand service to UK businesses.

If Delineate’s decision to set up in Wales is anything to go by, Wales is set to see substantial further investment from AI technology companies, whose presence, paired with the already burgeoning Welsh cybersecurity landscape, will elevate Wales to new heights in the world of technology.

Another way in which the arrival of AI companies in Wales can integrate into the existing tech ecosystem, is by uniting with the Welsh fintech industry. Wales boasts an impressive number of successful fintech companies such as Go.Compare, Confused.com, and Sonovate.

With many fintech start-ups, and independent members association FinTech Wales pioneering fintech services and uniting businesses and businesspeople, there is a thriving fintech industry which offers ample opportunity for fintech AI companies to lean in and support.

Finance companies can benefit greatly from AI which can be used to analyse data, gain crucial insights, and assist with tackling challenges, minimising risks, and streamlining processes.

The arrival of AI technology companies stationed in Wales heralds a new dawn for the Welsh tech sector, especially in the areas of cyber security and fintech, and brings with it many opportunities for the Welsh tech scene to continue to thrive and expand.

If you're a tech company considering establishing business in Wales, or are interested in hiring Welsh talent from abroad, contact Mauve's team of global HR experts today and find out how we can help.