11 Nov 2021
TechSpark Wales will work with tech and digital companies and organisations, both sides of the Severn Estuary to represent the strategic interests of the Welsh and English technology sectors.
The newly formed not-for-profit grouping will cement this relationship with the signing of another formal cross-channel partnership agreement, this time across the English Channel – by joining forces in an industry-led partner program with the Paris-based French innovation hub St. Quentin-en-Yvelines (SQY). Speaking of the news Mark John (Director, Tramshed Tech) said:
“We at Tramshed Tech are delighted to see this series of high-level discussions between us finally come to fruition, reflected in both of these new ground-breaking industry partnerships. Over three years in the making, from the earliest discussions between us, to the setting up of TechSPARK Wales and the final signing of our new Memorandum of Understanding with St. Quentin-en-Yvelines (SQY) – initiated before the onset of COVID – we have been supported in our ambitious plans by the Welsh and UK Governments. We hope we have rewarded their faith in us by being able to demonstrate the resilience and determination of our respective tech networks to grow by working together. Despite the effect of the pandemic, we have continued to build our relationship with our English and French partners, to provide an exciting new platform to help support the development of tech and digital businesses in all three countries – Wales, England and France – a new Triple Alliance to grow our sector.” – Mark John, Director Tramshed Tech
SQY plays host to the largest innovation campus in France as part of Paris-Saclay, the first Tech cluster in France and one of the top 8 worldwide (according to MiT Tech Review).
Altogether this partnership will see Tramshed Tech and TechSpark UK working with SQY to identify cross-border growth opportunities for French, Welsh and UK tech sector companies across a range of tech and digital disciplines, from AI & Cyber, to Data, FinTech and Green Tech – all specialist strengths and specific areas of focus for the respective partners.
“It is a great honor for us to conclude this partnership agreement with the flourishing tech Ecosystem of Wales represented by TechSPARK Wales. Joining forces between Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (SQY) as part of Paris-Saclay innovation cluster and Wales is particularly thrilling. This MoU was initiated before the pandemic and we are eager to start putting it in motion to reinforce our respective innovation hubs with this strategic collaboration.” - Jean-Michel Fourgous, President, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (SQY) & Mayor of Elancourt
This latest tech partnership with SQY & TechSPARK Wales, supported by the Welsh & UK Governments, will allow all the partners to continue to power collaborative workspaces, business growth services, specialist partnership programmes, fully-funded skills training across our combined range of incubator and accelerator programmes, on a wider and grander scale: locally, nationally and internationally, to grow exciting new cross-border opportunities.
Both founding partners (Tramshed Tech & TechSpark UK) are also founder members of the UK Tech Cluster Group (UKTCG) which advises UK Government on the technology and digital scene at a grassroots level across the nations and regions of the UK. Speaking of the news Ben Shorrock, Managing Director of TechSpark UK said:
“This is a great example of how tech businesses across the UK and internationally can come together for the greater good. Having worked with the team at Tramshed Tech for over three years as joint founder members of the UK Tech Cluster Group, we at TechSPARK UK have seen first-hand the effect, impact and benefit of collaborative working in consultation with forward-thinking partners. We see huge opportunities for our networks to work together to achieve even greater and quicker growth for the sector, both sides of the Severn Bridge - and we look forward to continuing and extending that relationship with our wonderful new international partners across the channel in France at SQY.” – Ben Shorrock, Managing Director TechSpark UK
Talking of the future opportunities of the TechSpark Wales partnership Welsh Government Minister for Economy Vaughan Gethin said:
“Wales is home to a thriving tech ecosystem, which is creating more high-skilled jobs closer to home, in the industries and services of the future. This partnership with St. Quentin-en-Yvelines and TechSparkUK is an exciting opportunity for us to join forces with our nearest neighbours to supercharge our collective efforts to develop the technology of the future. We will work together to open up new opportunities for mentorship, research collaboration and exchange visits, which will support innovative Welsh businesses to grow and prosper. We are delighted to have supported this agreement and I look forward to seeing the partnership develop over the next two years.” – Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy, Welsh Government
This ground-breaking international initiative is also being supported by both the Welsh & UK Governments, with a formal Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony being hosted at the UK Embassy in Paris on Wednesday 10th November, at the UK Ambassador’s residence.