DIgital 2013 kicks off in Wales with keynote from Sir Terry Matthews

Digital 2013, one of the UK's leading ICT events, is set to kick off in Newport, Wales - and ITProPortal will be with you every step of the way.

Our Digital 2013 live blog has already been launched into orbit as we ready ourselves for a whirlwind two days of bringing you all the news and best talking points from the Celtic Manor Resort.

Running 3-4 June, Digital 2013 will showcase the rise of Wales as a top destination for digitally-minded business and investment. The conference is hosting more than 60 speakers, as well as welcoming a bevy of leading technology organisations - Cisco, HP, IBM, and Microsoft are some of the big names getting a run out over the next 48 hours.

Welsh entrepeneur Sir Terry Matthews will deliver the Digital 2013 keynote speech later today, helping to usher in 'Digital Skills' day, while 4 June will see the focus shift slightly to a broader exploration of how technology is helping enterprises to unlock their growth potential.

"High-growth, innovative businesses are at the core of any buoyant economy and supporting them to utilise technology will be key if Wales is to be positioned at the cutting edge of the digital economy," Sir Terry said ahead of Digital 2013.

He continued: "Crucially, it's positive to see a technology event that includes discussion on digital skills provision. A thriving ICT sector is entirely reliant on the existence of a talented and skilled digital workforce, and there are huge issues around ICT skills provision for industry."

Digital 2013 will be structured around a range of workshops, keynote talks, exhibitions, and networking opportunities, taking in a full suite of the hottest IT topics: cloud computing, mobility, big data, and analytics are some of the buzz words sure to be in the air.

More specifically still, the event will endeavour to highlight how Welsh SMEs from both the public and private sector are successfully leveraging the latest technologies. A variety of industries - from education to the financial services - are set to enjoy time in the limelight this week as decision-makers from across the UK connect up at Celtic Manor.

"ICT is integral to businesses in Wales, across all sizes and sectors, and its optimisation by businesses could generate a further £1.5bn to the economy over the next five years," commented Edwina Hart, Welsh government Minister for the Economy.

Ms Hart added: "While technology has opened up huge socio-economic opportunities, it is rapidly evolving and it is therefore crucial that businesses are equipped with the know-how to stay abreast of these developments to create new services and routes to market."