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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Morgan backs business innovation
Ubiquity Software
Ubiquity Software has become a Welsh success story
Wales's business leaders of the future are attending an "innovation summit" chaired by Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

The first minister has stressed the importance of listening to companies and business people with innovative ideas.

The initiative coincides with the latest jobs blow announced by a large overseas company in Wales.

Panasonic announced on Tuesday thatit was cutting up to 1,300 jobs at its Cardiff plant.

Last week, Sony announced it would be cutting 400 workers from its south Wales operations.


It is essential we listen to the voice of our innovators

Rhodri Morgan, Assembly First Minister

The conference has been boosted by the attendance of Terry Matthews, Wales's only billionaire, who made his fortune from electronics.

Newport-based Ubiquity Software - which won a prestigious American internet award for its hi-tech products - will also offer its input to the summit.

Mr Morgan underlined the importance of ambitious, new companies playing a key role in the development of Welsh industry.

"It is essential we listen to the voice of our innovators, those special people who create these great leaps forward, who make things happen in the business world," said Mr Morgan.

Airbus A3XX model
Development: BAe has invested heavily in Wales
"Although the assembly has its own ideas, I want to hear from those present how Wales can be more successful in encouraging start-up companies with high growth potential."

He added that he would be looking into what more could be done to promote innovation culture in Wales.

Efforts will also be made to encourage outside "high growth" companies to Wales.

Mr Morgan added: "In an innovative culture, like Silicon Valley of California, you can take the person who has got a technological breakthrough, wrap an experienced management package around him or her and thereby make it easier for them to go out on their own."

Businesses represented at the summit include Ubiquity Software, BAe Airbus, Newbridge Networks, NTL and Nycomed Amersham.

The conference also includes input from academics from universities in Bangor, Swansea and the University of Glamorgan.

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