Welsh Node of ground breaking new UK virtual network launches

The Welsh Node of the Cisco National Virtual Incubator (NVI) – a ground breaking UK-wide virtual network – will be launched at an event on Thursday, December 12, at the eHealth Industries Innovation Centre (ehi2), Swansea University.

As the world becomes more digitally transformed and connected, the way businesses interact, network and collaborate is fast changing.   Entrepreneurs, start ups, SMEs and charities keen to innovate, grow and remain relevant in a rapidly changing digital landscape will attend the launch later this week to hear first-hand the business benefits on offer by joining the Welsh NVI Node, which is supported by the Welsh Government. 

The UK is full of exciting, innovative and vibrant businesses, but spread across such a large geographical area sometimes it’s hard to make new connections.  The NVI offers the solution with a free community that spans across the country through a series of communication points, known as ‘nodes’, connecting research clusters, higher education establishments and science parks.  

Each node is equipped with Cisco Video Technology, which is freely available for use by all members. This resource provides the platform for sophisticated collaboration across the network.

Akshay Thakur, Cisco Business Development Manager, said: “The NVI is an ideal platform on which start ups and SMEs can collaborate, innovate and grow.

“Collaboration is facilitated through a variety of video based technologies and use of the JANET network for research and education. This enables SMEs from various regions around the UK to collaborate more effectively,  co-deploying solutions, employing remote workers, or connecting to an NVI wide broadcast event – such as the upcoming UK Investment Forum.

“The NVI Alliance has just reached the 2013 goal of 12 member nodes across the UK.”

NVI Members can take part in a programme of multi-locational interactive events, discussions and mentor sessions.  Importantly, this free UK wide community offers a unique opportunity to collaborate, pool resources, share ideas and develop new business partnerships. 

The Welsh Node based at ehi2, Swansea University, is free to join and has come on board as a specialist communication point for both the Life Science and ICT sectors. 

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “Both Life Science and ICT are strong economic drivers for the Welsh economy and the fact that the Welsh NVI Node has come on board as a specialist communication point for these sectors demonstrates our strength in these areas.

“It is hoped it will be used by Welsh entrepreneurs, start ups and SMEs, allowing them to tap into resources and organisations across the country to collaborate, innovate and develop new business partnerships to help them grow.”

Professor David Ford, Director of ehi2 and a keynote speaker at the launch event on Thursday, added: “This is the first in what promises to be an informative programme of events organised by the Welsh NVI. 

“It is very exciting that the Welsh Node at ehi2 will be connecting to dozens of clusters in the UK via video technology.  The technology and the events will provide a perfect platform to nurture interaction and collaboration.  

“This is particularly exciting for ehi2 as the growing NVI ecosystem offers up a new unique opportunity to accelerate collaboration and cross pollination required to drive life science and ICT innovation.” 

The event will also feature updates on the local events being planned by NVI Wales for 2014. 

Businesses wishing find out more about NVI membership should contact Sarah Toomey, NVI Wales Manager, on 01792 295627, or by emailing NVIWales@swansea.ac.uk.