Techies in Residence Projects Taking it to the Next Level

Five of our Techies in Residence organisations have received a funding boost of nearly £70,000 from the Social Innovation Seed Fund to help them further develop their digital projects.

The groups pitched for funding at Digital DNA after successfully producing a prototype digital application through the Social Innovation NI Techies in Residence Programme, funded by the Building Change Trust and managed by Innovate NI.

The Techies in Residence programme teamed up talented people from the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector with digital specialists in order to tackle unique problems by using innovative solutions and create real social impact. Each organisation in the programme completed a digital tool that will now need testing and further development.

Paul Braithwaite who heads up the Building Change Trust’s work in Social Innovation explained: “The Social Innovation NI Seed Fund is designed to help organisations that have been through our Techies in Residence programmes take their idea to the next level, helping them further imbed innovative practice and impact in communities. We’re really excited to see where these projects go next.”

The five groups receiving funding are:

Specialisterne NI – £15,000 to develop their elearning platform for social communication differences.

Arthritis Care – £12,677 for its app supporting young people with arthritis.

Greater Shantallow Area Partnership – £15,000 for its Heritage Trail app.

Focus on Family  – £11,420 for their online platform for the Cornfield Project

Women’s Aid – £14,230 – for its interactive portal about healthy relationships and domestic violence/abuse.

Techies in Residence aimed to kick-start digital social innovation in Northern Ireland and showcase what can be achieved by combining the two sectors, developing long standing partnerships between the tech community and VCSE organisations.  A third Techies in Residence project will get underway in the autumn giving further opportunity for groups to develop digital solutions.

The Techies in Residence Managing Agent, Innovate-NI Director, Clare McGee, said: “This is a unique opportunity for third sector organisations to access seed funding to further scale their techies in residence prototypes into market ready solutions. We’re excited about the impact this will have for their organisations”.

The Building Change Trust supports the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland through the development, delivery of, and learning from a range or programmes including commissioned work, awards programmes and other interventions.

It was established in 2008 by the Big Lottery Fund with a National Lottery grant of £10million as an investment for community capacity building and promotion of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.

For further information on the Techies in Residence programme go to www.socialinnovationni.org

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