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Bank of Ireland and the Community Foundation partner to fund Tech for Good innovations

Fund & Grant News

Bank of Ireland and the Community Foundation partner to fund Tech for Good innovations

3 Jun 2019

Bank of Ireland and the Community Foundation are teaming up to fund £25,000 to the best technology innovations for community benefit at a public event on 11th June in Derry’s Guildhall.

This event is the culmination of the Community Foundation’s ‘Techies in Residence’ programme which matches local charities with technology companies to build digital solutions for social benefit. Past participants have included the NOW Group who received support to build their widely acclaimed JAM Card app to help people with learning difficulties with accessing services and Mencap who worked with tech firm C60 to build a virtual reality ‘town square’ to help people with social anxiety prepare for real life scenarios.

X marks the spot: Paul Braithwaite Head of Innovation and Voice at the Community Foundation, Niamh Griffin, Snr Manager Business Banking and Gavin Kennedy, Head of Business Banking NI, both Bank of Ireland, get in some early voting practice for the ‘Techies in Residence’ showcase in the Guildhall Derry~Londonderry on June 11th, where audience members will get to decide which ‘Tech for Good’ projects will benefit from a £25k seed fund.

Supported by Comic Relief

The programme is funded this year by Comic Relief and six projects have each been working with a tech partner and supported by programme managers, Innovate NI, over an intensive 12 week ‘development sprint’ since March. Each of the six projects will have a prototype to present on 11th June and will be ‘pitching’ to the audience for a share of the Bank of Ireland funds to enable them to take their work to the next stage.
Guests and participants will also hear about the wider ‘Tech for Good’ movement which is about using technology for social and community benefit. Comic Relief will be sharing examples of their work across the UK and participants will have an opportunity to hear about future funding and support opportunities, including how they can apply to the next cycle of the Techies in Residence programme. Taking the community ethos of the event even further, the audience will get to decide which from amongst six projects are most worthy of receiving funding.

The six projects pitching will be:

  • Centred Soul & Damgeo will develop a digital platform to enable people experiencing peri-natal mental illness and birth trauma to connect and communicate with each-other in a safe space;
  • Include Youth along with Proud and Damgeo will design an inspiring web application for young people that can drive self-sufficiency and promotes independence and ownership of wellbeing and employment status;
  • PPR (Participation & the Practice of Rights) and the Creative Workers Cooperative will work together to turn PPR’s existing housing rights complaints system into an online application which enables self-management, collective action and scaling;
  • Foyle Parents & Friends Association & Zoo Creative to develop an app to allow people with disabilities to independently explore Derry’s walls and city centre
  • Advice NI and Metadeck will create a spending tracking tool to help people manage their money better and know where to get debt advice should they need it
  • Our Future Foyle and illustration and design agency Us Folk, will develop an online toolkit for families and members of the public dealing with issues relating to the suicide search and recovery process on the River Foyle.

The Community Foundation’s Paul Braithwaite said:

“Techies in Residence is now in its fourth year and we’re delighted with the support we’ve received from both Comic Relief and Bank of Ireland this year – it really encapsulates the cross-sectoral collaboration which the programme is all about. This year’s projects are demonstrating once again the power of technology, not only to revolutionise our lives, but also to address some of social and economic challenges we face as a society.”

Gavin Kennedy Head of Business Banking NI from Bank of Ireland said:

“Supporting initiatives like Techies in Residence really resonates with us as an organisation. It is an amazing example of the positive impact of collaboration, through connecting voluntary organisations with the tech sector for the purpose of using digital, technology & innovation for social impact. It’s inspiring to see the potential for the transformational impact for good these ideas could deliver for communities across Northern Ireland.”

The event is free to attend and anyone is welcome to come along – registration is via this weblink:

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