Presentation of the Region
Wales is one of the four nations of the United Kingdom, with a population of approximately 3 million. The Welsh Government has responsibility for economic development in Wales.
The Welsh Government has defined its vision for longer term economic development and prosperity in “Prosperity for All”, the national strategy to deliver its key priorities for the rest of this Assembly term (May 2021).
The International Strategy for Wales sets out Wales’ approach to international engagement, including an emphasis on co-operation with other European regions in areas of shared interest, for example research and innovation. The EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) provides a new framework for our engagement with the EU, including the UK’s association to the Horizon Europe programme.
Wales supports the ‘Learn’, ‘Connect’, ‘Demonstrate’, and ‘Commercialise’ ethos of Vanguard. We will positively engage with the European networks and pilot projects with the aim of increasing collaborative activity to support leading-edge innovation projects.
Wales was an early adopter of Smart Specialisation, during 2013 it published Innovation Wales, the national innovation strategy. The Vanguard Initiative’s key principles accord well with Innovation Wales which identifies that whilst we need to promote, encourage and enable innovation across the whole economy, key investments should be made on the basis of clear strategic priorities, built on Wales’ national and international acknowledged economic strengths.
Pan Wales there is an active and innovative business community with a strong research and innovation eco-system, including internationally recognised universities and research & technology centers. Industry collaboration with public sector partners helps set the ambition and direction to drive sustainable growth of a resilient and adaptable economy.
Wales has a proud industrial heritage dating back to the Industrial Revolution, particularly in coal, iron & steel production. In the 21st Century Wales is looking to re-invent itself by future-proofing our existing businesses through Innovation and building the infrastructure to support businesses creating the digital age. The development of Europe’s first industrial cluster devoted to Compound Semiconductors, which will be European in Scale but global in reach is a key example of Smart Specialisation.