11 Sep 2020
The Community Foundation’s Techies in Residence programme, which matches charities and social enterprises in Northern Ireland with digital technology partners, is now open for applications from tech professionals. Contractors, small agencies and established technology companies are invited to register expressions of interest for a place on the programme, to develop tech solutions to meet challenges identified by voluntary sector organisations.
Utilising a design-thinking and person-centred approach, together, the ‘techie’ and the VCSE organisation will design, develop and test a technological solution to the challenge they are addressing. They will build, as a minimum, a prototype technological solution to the challenge, as well as helping to bring different ways of creative thinking to the organisations they work with.
The programme, which has supported 25 groups over three years, is focused on creating powerful change within communities through digital technology. Previous participants include Damgeo Ltd who worked with Newry-based Centred Soul to develop an online platform to support and connect women and men across Northern Ireland suffering from perinatal mental ill-health. The organisation secured a £10,000 seed fund award for further development of the platform to include website integration, health and wellbeing scales and a localised directory of services.
The programme will take place from November to April 2020, and take the form of a two day residential, a 10 week ‘residency’ and finish with a showcasing event in May 2021
Paul Braithwaite, Head of Innovation and Voice at the Community Foundation said,
“We’re interested in hearing from tech professionals from all backgrounds who are problem solvers, innovative and have a range of technical skills that could support third sector organisations and charities. Ideally, you’ll also have the drive to take on challenging projects that may have a scalable societal impact.
“Once registered, techies will be asked to indicate their preferences for the projects they’d like to partner with. We’ll work with our delivery partners Innovate NI, to ensure the match takes the requirements of the charity and the technical capabilities and experience of the techies into account.”
Techies in Residence has been funded by Comic Relief for the third year, as part of their Social Tech programme. Six groups completed the programme last year and competed for a share of a £25,000 seed fund to progress their prototype to the next stage.
Damien Caldwell from Damgeo ltd. said,
Joining Techies in Residence for the first time was a real game-changer for our start-up, not only did we have an amazing experience designing a digital product for good, we also fostered a network of contacts within the third sector which continues to make a considerable contribution to our core business today.
For further information on Techies In Residence visit www.communityfoundationni.org or contact the Community Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org