Scott Jenson, lead of the Physical Web project at Google US, alongside Professor Matt Jones, Head of College of Science at Swansea University, facilitated a ‘Physical Web in Wales’ day at the Senedd in Cardiff last week (Thursday 22nd September).

Scott JensenThe event, which was supported by Welsh Government, saw Scott (pictured) meet Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure at Welsh Government to discuss how this exciting new technology might provide a platform to change lives and create economic acceleration.  

The Physical Web is a fast and simple way to explore content and control things related to a location via a mobile phone. Scott provided examples of the types of projects currently underway using the Physical Web and described the impacts and benefits, as well as some keys to success. The aim of the day was to discuss the value of potentially large scale deployments in region wide test-beds in Wales.

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure at Welsh Government, said, “Wales is the UK’s fastest growing digital economy outside of London.  Worth over £8 billion, employing 40,000 people and with a vibrant start-up scene, our wider ICT Sector is thriving.  To keep ahead of the game we must continue to embrace and adopt new, innovative digital technologies to increase economic prosperity and better connect our communities.
“I’m delighted to have been able to meet with Google to hear about the exciting projects they have in the pipeline and how Wales can benefit.”

During the day, Matt Jones, lead for both the Computational Foundry and Cherish Digital Economy Centre at Swansea University outlined the research and development capabilities that are transforming the region and aspirations to grow relationships with large and small innovators globally.

Scott Jenson, Head of Physical Web at Google US, said, ‘The Physical Web wants to transform how people interact with information and digital services anywhere. I'm excited to be discussing its potential for Wales and to be working with the Computational Foundry and the CHERISH-DE Centre. It's clear that there is so much energy, ambition and talent in Swansea and the wider region. This can only be a hugely positive driver for social and economic good.’

Matt Jones, said, ‘Scott is an internationally recognised thought-leader who has shaped important ideas and technologies in companies like Apple, Symbian and now Google for decades. We are delighted to welcome him to Swansea. We are aiming to make Swansea a beacon for computational thinking and innovation globally, attracting in talent and collaborators from around the world - people just like Scott and Google.’

In addition to the meeting at the Senedd, Scott spent two weeks hosted by Swansea University. During that time, he worked with researchers in the Computational Foundry and the CHERISH Digital Economy Centre to run a master class on the ‘Physical Web’ for a group of early career researchers and industry developers drawn from across the UK.

Scott then teamed up with Andrew Kane, Enterprise Solution Architect at Amazon Web Services and Matt Lewis of the DVLA and the South Wales Amazon Web Services group to host a distinguished lecture at Swansea University as part of the University’s Computational Foundry Distinguished lecture series.  The lecture brought together technical researchers and developers and business strategists from start-ups, the public sector and academia.