The Welsh Government is setting up a £20m ($25.7m) digital R&D center, called the National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC), which will aim to create "the perfect setting for SMEs and microbusinesses to test and develop their digital concepts".
The new center will be based in the Welsh county Blaenau Gwent and will be built in collaboration with French tech company Thales and the University of South Wales.
NDEC will be the first facility to be developed as part of the Welsh Governments Tech Valley project. The project is part of a 10-year initiative proposed to turn Blaenau Gwent into a global center for new technology.
The Welsh Government together with Thales have each committed £10m ($12.9m) to the project. "All elements, apart from the educational aspects of the center are expected to be fully self-sufficient within five years," the Welsh Government said. The NDEC will help Wales leverage global digital opportunities and will also aim to upskill businesses with the knowledge they require to gain a larger share of regional and national projects.
Wales minister of economy and transport Ken Skates: "The center will help ensure that Wales exploits the global opportunities of digital transformation, provide a base for groundbreaking research and will equip businesses of all shapes and sizes with the skills and knowledge they need to win a greater share of large regional and national projects.
"I am confident that through our partnership with Thales and the University of South Wales we will work to stimulate and create employment in high-value technology businesses - an ambition that is right at the heart of our Tech Valleys project," he added