The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Regional Cabinet has announced the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer.
Rhys Thomas, who is a member of the Innovation Advisory Council for Wales and a member of the Strategic Advisory Panel for FinTech Wales, has been appointed to the new role.
As Chief Operating Officer, Rhys will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of the City Deal Office, as well as the operation of the City Deal investment programme, in line with the agreed strategy, aims and direction.
He will work closely with Kellie Bierne, Director of the CCR City Deal.
Prior to his new position, Rhys held a number of roles at Cardiff University with the most recent as Head of Innovation System and Business Engagement. He was responsible for the strategic advancement and leadership of the Cardiff University Innovation System, including leading and managing the Innovation and Business Engagement teams, and facilitating effective partnership, collaboration and co-ordination with external partners.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Chair of the CCR Regional Cabinet and Leader of the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “We are pleased to welcome Rhys Thomas as the new Chief Operating Officer for the City Deal. His past experience leading the Innovation and Business teams at Cardiff University is impressive, and with his current experience as a member on the Innovation Advisory Board, makes him well suited to assist on the development of the CCR City Deal. We are confident that he will become a valuable member of the CCR City Deal team and look forward to his contribution.”
Kellie Beirne, Director of the CCR City Deal, said: “I have worked closely with Rhys on the Innovation Advisory Council and know he will provide extraordinary insight that will help drive forward the development of CCR City Deal. I am looking forward to working with him on this programme.”
Rhys said: “I have been following the CCR City Deal and have been impressed by the positive impact it is having on the region.
“I am delighted to have been chosen to assist in delivering the programme. I believe the City Deal is an enormous opportunity for our region and will play a significant role in enabling us to become more economically self-reliant.
“In delivering the City Deal I will be looking to take every opportunity to reinforce and practise a collaborative partnership approach across the private, public and education sectors so that we can fully leverage the breadth and depth of skills and strengths we have within our region.
“Our efforts and investments will focus on infrastructure, innovation challenge and our target sectors to ensure we focus on the opportunities that will generate long term sustainable growth and help shape our collective futures.”