Techies in Residence Projects Reach Next Stage

Techies in Residence Projects Reach Next Stage

25 February 2016

The Techies in Residence Programme is getting to the end of the residencies, and last week they gathered at the NOW Group’s Hive on Grovesnor Road to meet the advisory group and outline what their current status is, as well as identify what the next steps needed for each of the projects.

When we started out the Techies in Residence Programme, each of our techies was given 10 weeks to work with the organisation and come up with a working prototype.

From that point, we’ve assembled a crack team of advisors to set them on a path to development, looking at new funding opportunities, development opportunities and other opportunities.

The Advisory Group have a wide range of skills and contacts, and are made up of Clare McGee, NORIBIC, Hilary Hanberry, Business in the Community, Caroline McGoran, Ulster University Department of Research & Innovation, Matt Johnston of Digital Circle, Steve Orr of Northern Ireland Science Park and Glen Mehn of Social Innovation Camp.

They heard pitches from each of the groups and their techies, outlining the project that they’ve been working on and what their plans for development are beyond theTechies in Residence.

Here’s a look at where the 6 projects are currently.


Aware have been working with David Shawe of Invisible Building on converting their Mood Matters course into an electronic resource that could have a larger impact on student’s life.

As the project has evolved, they’ve moved more toward a new app that students can interact with, recording their moods and based on the “Take 5” principle, allows people to record what steps they’re taking to improve their wellbeing.

Colin Glen Trust

Working with Story FX, the goal of the project was to come up with a new attraction for the Colin Glen Park which would use new technology to attract visitors, and also not be a target for anti-social behaviour.

Following a period of research and investigation into options such as Google Cardboard, Hololens and other technologies, it was decided to develop an Alternative Reality solution combined with iBeacon technology and the AR App Aurasma.

Working in a wooded glen has its problems, not least the lack of network coverage and connectivity, which poses problems. Having commissioned art work and animated one of the fairies already, the next steps are to solve the connectivity issues, and investigate expanding the collection of fairies.

NOW Group

Working with Ciaran Murray of Creative Metrics, the goal was to come up with a digital version of the JAM Card. Over the last 10 weeks, they’ve been working on coming up with a user friendly app that does more than the plastic card currently does.

So far the project has come up with an app that tracks raw data of use, which could be the basis of further development. The next steps for the JAM Card app involve user testing, building further resources and investigating other organisations the concept could benefit.



Working with Matthew O’Reilly from Kainos- the goal was to build on the work that NICVA are doing with their Open Data Belfast node and build a directory for their stakeholders with a range of the most pertinent and up to date information available.

The solution - CommunityAPI – will be a key tool for NICVA and, as well as, building a front facing app, development has taken place on a management console.


Working with Kevin Curran of Ulster University, this joint DTNI-Place project aims to demonstrate to key stakeholders what surplus land and or buildings assets might be available to support their development in addition to using mapping to lead to better public space design and reuse especially when vacant.

Currently awaiting a layer of data that can make it useable by stakeholders, the project could also benefit from help from Spatial NI. 



TAMHI have been working with Kyle at Get Invited, the goal was to come up with a means of measuring the impact that TAMHI have with their activities in order to report to funders.

The solution, TAMHI Together, is a web app that tracks the impact that their activities have, measuring it against an internationally recognised resilience scale. The current prototype allows users to check in to sessions, track their improvement against a baseline, and an easy reporting function.

They’re currently looking at how to turn this into a more rounded system that could benefit more than just TAMHI.

From this point, we’re working closely to open doors for each of the projects. Each of the projects is going to be given mentor support in order to polish the ideas further, and we’re looking at further funding sources for each of the groups to take it beyond the prototype that have been delivered.

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