About Us

What we’re doing for technology in Wales

Technology Connected is the leading network for technology in Wales.
For nearly 20 years, we have worked alongside our members to forge new business connections, raise their profiles and to create a powerful collective voice for the technology industry in Wales and beyond.
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About us

What We Do

We are the go-to organisation for news, views and insight for the Welsh technology industry.
Through our work we are:

Connecting

Enabling

Developing

Innovating

Influencing

Championing

We connect people, technologies and industries.

Our initiatives and events facilitate the introduction and adoption of emerging and enabling technologies across sectors

Through our Next Generation programme, we inspire and inform the next generation of tech talent

We bring together the best minds in technology and academia to collaborate and accelerate commercialisation of R&D

Engaging with stakeholders to invest, protect and support our industry

We promote the impact of Welsh technology to increase its presence on the global stage

Meet the Technology Connected Team

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Who we are

Our Team

Avril Lewis MBE

Sophie Peppin

Elizabeth Scott

Martyn John

Claire Heat

Karl Hargrave

Avril Lewis MBE

Managing Director

Avril was appointed Managing Director of Technology Connected, formerly the ESTnet, in May 2012.

Her background is in the semiconductor industry, and she was awarded the MBE for services to the technology industry in Wales in 2018. Avril is an influential and energetic leader with highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, and thrives as a catalyst for change.

Sophie Peppin

Marketing & Team Co-ordinator

After graduating in Business Management and Marketing, Sophie joined the Technology Connected team full-time in September 2019, as Marketing and Team Co-ordinator. Alongside content creation, Sophie handles the back-end systems, social media, and admin for Technology Connected.

Outside of work, Sophie is currently furthering her creative skills by learning various video and photo-editing software.

Elizabeth Scott

Events and Project Manager

An experienced Project Manager with a passion for running events and helping businesses great and small engage with their audiences, Elizabeth has been applying her skills in the tech world for the last 5 years, helping deliver events such as Wales Tech Week, Wales Technology Awards, Emerging Tech Fest and Factory of the Future.

Never happier than with a clipboard in hand and a room full of excited guests, Elizabeth enjoys the process of bringing the most ambitious visions to life.

Martyn John

PR Manager

Martyn John is an award winning Digital PR specialist, heading up international PR agency Good Brothers.

With a background in fintech PR, Martyn previously worked in-house at one of the UK’s largest fintech brands, and now works with a range of UK & US businesses creating communication strategies and securing them top tier coverage and links.

Martyn’s work has seen brands of all sizes regularly featured in outlets such as The Financial Times, BBC, Mashable, Daily Mail, Telegraph, The Mirror, The Guardian, The Independent, NME, AOL and more.

Claire Heat

Events and Project Manager

An experienced events and project manager having delivered a variety of high profile events within both the public and private sector, including the BAFTA Cymru awards and Wales’ presence at the South by South West Festival in Austin, Texas. No stranger to partnership working, Claire loves to bring people and projects together for the positive benefit of all.

When she’s not busy delivering events, Claire likes to volunteer as a catering assistant for the Food for Life Wales project and as a litter picker in her local community.

 

Karl Hargrave

North Wales Regional Manager

Karl Hargrave is a highly experienced cybersecurity specialist and heads up one of North Wales leading cyber security partners, Security Foundry.

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Our Board

Our board is led by key figures from some of the world’s most impactful technology businesses and innovative Welsh firms.
They are also members of the Technology Leadership Council.

Avril Lewis

Christian Coates: Co-chair

Chris Meadows, Co-Chair

Nia Davies

Rob Wilson

Prof. Rob Rolley

Katy Chamberlain

Gareth Williams

Lee Griffin

Avril Lewis

Avril Lewis, Managing Director, Technology Connected

Avril was appointed Managing Director of Technology Connected, formerly the ESTnet, in May 2012.

Her background is in the semiconductor industry, and she was awarded the MBE for services to the technology industry in Wales in 2018. Avril is an influential and energetic leader with highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, and thrives as a catalyst for change.

Christian Coates: Co-chair

Christian Coates. Managing Director, Method4 Ltd

Christian has been Managing Director at Method4 since the company was established in 2005, overseeing several new technology adoptions and business practice innovations.

Christian is responsible for the strategic direction of the business, building collaborative opportunities and business development. The company is in the middle of an exciting growth phase which will see it grow to over 40 staff with a turnover in excess of £3.5m.

He is also a member of the advisory panel of the superfast broadband exploitation programme.  

Chris Meadows, Co-Chair

Communication Director, IQE plc, Co-chair

Chris’ career in electronics and semiconductors started at British Telecom Research Laboratories before joining a new joint venture between BT and US based DuPont in 1986.
Chris was part of the founding team at Epitaxial Products International Ltd (EPI) in Cardiff in 1988 which became IQE plc in 1999. A science and engineering graduate, Chris also holds an MBA and has held a number of senior management positions within the IQE Group.

Chris is also a Director of CSconnected Ltd, representing the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster that is rapidly evolving across South Wales and the West of England.

Nia Davies

Managing Director, Davlec Ltd

Nia took over as managing director of Welshpool-based agricultural electronics equipment Davlec Ltd in 2002. Since then, Nia has diversified the company’s portfolio to include high-end catering equipment, and healthcare electronics, as well as extending its range of automotive clients.

In 2014 the company acquired Leema Electro-Acoustics, one of the few remaining British-owned hi-fi companies. She is also a Director of Mitchell and Johnson Electronics, a new hi-fi company.

Rob Wilson

Operations Director, Sony UK Technology Centre at Pencoed

Rob has responsibility for overseeing the supply chain which underpins Sony’s European Customer Service Centre.

Rob is also a member of the UK Tec Board where he supports his fellow executives in the strategic development and future planning of the Sony facility as well as reviewing key financial performance and ensuring business compliance for all aspects of Sony’s operation within Pencoed.

Prof. Rob Rolley

Chairs the Industrial Advisory board at Cardiff University.

Rob is an experienced senior director with a track record of programme delivery. Recently he completed a two-year full-time secondment role as The Head of Innovation at the UK Defence Solutions Centre in Farnborough, where he worked in partnership with the UK Government, major defence companies, Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and Academia to deliver new future export opportunities for the UK.

Rob chairs the Industrial Advisory board at Cardiff University and also a member of the University of South Wales industrial advisory board.

Katy Chamberlain

Chief Executive, Business In Focus

Katy is the Chief Executive Business in Focus, a social enterprise which supports businesses in turning their ambitions into reality.

Katy spent more than 20 years with international accountancy and advisory firm KPMG, leading teams delivering a variety of services to businesses in Wales. She is also the former Chief Executive of equality action organisation, Chwarae Teg.

Gareth Williams

Vice President , Secure Communications and Information Systems, Thales UK

Gareth joined Thales in 2008, and oversees the communication systems and cyber security businesses of Thales in the UK.

He has previously worked for General Dynamics, BAE Systems and Rolls Royce, with a career spanning various engineering, finance and operations roles. Gareth sits on the cyber management committee of Tech UK and is a member of the RISC Council.

Lee Griffin

CEO & Founder, GoCompare

Lee is one of the founding members of Newport-based GoCompare, one of the UK’s largest fintech companies, and a key figure in the rise of price comparison websites.

In addition to his 20 years of experience in the financial and fintech industry, Lee is also the driving force behind GoCompare’s GoFurther Academy initiative, which has invested in a series of programmes to boost skills in data science and STEM in Wales.

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Technology Leadership Council

Launched in 2020, the Technology Leadership Council is as a strategic advisory body.

Dr. Cerian Jones

Damon Rands

James Smith

Nicola McNeely

Julian Morris

Prof. Pete Burnap

David Jones

Chris Hancock

Stephen Dukes

Nick Speed

Dr. Cerian Jones

Founder, Cerian Jones IP consultancy

After gaining a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) and lecturing in Computer Science for many years, Cerian took a career change and became a patent attorney, specialising in the protection of software-implemented inventions. As the owner of Cerian Jones IP consultancy, she works with entrepreneurs and innovators from across Wales, the UK and the world to ring fence and defend their intellectual property. Areas of particular specialisation include FinTech and cyber security (she was a co-founder of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster), and is one of few patent attorneys with in-depth technical and legal experience of blockchain, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies

Damon Rands

CEO, Wolfberry

Damon Is an experienced cyber security expert, with over 30 years in the industry, helping companies across the globe build secure systems and implement best practices to protect their intellectual property and private information.

As well as being co-founder of the South Wales Cyber security cluster one of the largest cyber clusters in the UK, he is also a member of several advisory boards across education and government, helping shape the resilience and education standards for the nation.

James Smith

CEO & Founder, DevopsGroup

James Smith has over 20 years’ experience driving digital transformation and IT modernisation. DevOpsGroup, a next-gen technology company who make Cloud and DevOps adoption fast, secure and simple.

James is passionate about raising the bar for the Welsh economy by connecting people and technology to drive positive change. He is an active member of the Welsh technology community, and is a steering group member for Technocamps, an initiative computer workshops for young people in Wales. He is also an industrial advisor to the Institute of Coding for Wales.

Nicola McNeely

Partner, Head of Technology Sector, Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors

Working with entrepreneurial and innovative people in Wales and across the UK, especially in advanced manufacturing and technology businesses, Nicola’s focus is on working closely with clients to solve their problems and really understand how their businesses work.

Nicola has worked on secondment to the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, focusing on new business and intellectual property, but also for clients in a range of sectors on software outsourcing agreements, blockchain solutions and EMI schemes. She is also a non-executive director role with Business in Focus, supporting Welsh businesses.

Nicola is also a founding partner of Blockchain Connected

Julian Morris

Director of Customer Experience, Cisco

Since joining Cisco in 2014, Julian has held numerous director-level roles for the Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia (EMEAR) region, and was recently promoted to global director leading professional services delivery community.

He has over 25 years of experience in the IT, telecoms and digital industry. Prior to joining Cisco, Julian held various senior delivery and operations roles at Alcatel-Lucent, NTL and British Airways.

Prof. Pete Burnap

Professor of Data Science & Cybersecurity, Cardiff University

Peter is director of Cardiff’s NCSC/EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). He also leads AI for cybersecurity research at Airbus DTO on a part-time secondment basis.

He is co-director of the WEFO-funded Data InnovationAccelerator (DIA) – a £3.75m investment in upskilling SMEs in south Wales to develop innovative AI-driven products and services. He sits on the UK Government AI Council, advising on the implementation of the industrial strategy in AI and the data economy.

David Jones

Digital Technology expert and advisor

David is a Digital Technology expert and advisor, currently working as a non-executive Director at Ofcom and also three Public Sector bodies in Wales: the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Welsh Revenue Authority and Qualifications Wales.

David has exited from two Cardiff-based technology start-ups, Travelink where he was Founder / CEO and TigerBay where we was Investor / Chairman.

Chris Hancock

Chief Technical Officer at Creo Medical

Chris is the founder of Creo Medical with over 20 years’ of experience in medical device development, including four years at Gyrus Group plc in his role as Senior Engineer.

Chris holds a personal Chair in the Medical Microwave Systems Research Group at Bangor University. Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Chartered Physicist, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a Chartered Engineer and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Chris is a named inventor and lead author on over 500 patents/patent applications and international journal publications

Stephen Dukes

COO at Confused.com

After a 20-year career, working at well-known financial services’ brands such as DFC Global Corp and Wonga, Steve brings his expertise to the role of COO at Confused.com. Skilled in delivering business transformation strategies, Steve will play a key part in driving change by overseeing the effective integration of operations and technology.

Nick Speed

BT Group Wales Director

Nick Speed joined BT Group as Wales Director in July 2019. He looks after external relations for BT Group, including EE, in Wales, through engagement programmes with contacts in politics, government, and other groups with an interest in technology and telecommunications. Previously he spent almost a decade in the energy sector, first setting up the Wales office for the regulator, Ofgem, and then for Centrica. He spent the earlier part of his career as a journalist, in print and broadcast. Nick is a member of CBI Wales Council and the Advisory Panel to the Welsh Language Commissioner. He lives in Cardiff.