Techies in Residence to continue in 2019 thanks to Comic Relief and the Community Foundation for NI
By Paul Braithwaite:
This morning I attended the launch of Parenting NI’s new parenting support mobile app hosted at Stormont by Nicola Mallon MLA and Robbie Butler MLA. The app was developed through the Trust’s Techies in Residence programme and a follow-on award from our Social Innovation Seed Fund.
The app, which was developed in partnership with tech social enterprise Kippie, provides critical information and support to parents across NI. It is an excellent example of what the Techies in Residence programme was set up to do: enabling charities and social enterprises to harness digital technology for the benefit of their service users.
As the Trust moves towards closure at the end of 2018 we’ve been working hard with our partner the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to secure the future of what is Northern Ireland’s only dedicated ‘Tech for Good’ support programme for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
So we’re delighted to be able to announce that Comic Relief have made funding of £150,000 available to the Community Foundation to continue the programme for another cycle in 2019.
The Techies in Residence programme matches VCSE organisations with tech professionals to help them to solve a social challenge using digital technology. Once matched the VCSE organisations and ‘techies’ work intensively together over a 12 week period to develop and build a prototype product ready for testing in the real world.
Building Change Trust, the organisation behind the Techies in Residence programme is closing at the end of the year, as originally set-out in its time limited mission from Big Lottery Fund.
However the Trust has reached an agreement with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to continue operating the increasingly popular programme along with other elements of the Social Innovation NI collaboration for 2019, and hopefully beyond.
The continuation of the Techies in Residence programme has been enabled through a generous grant from Comic Relief, building on their positive experience of having part-funded the programme in 2018. This will allow for six new projects to be supported in the 2019 cycle.
The programme will be delivered through a partnership between CFNI and Derry/Londonderry-based firm Innovate NI, who have successfully managed the programme for the past two cycles.
Techies in Residence will open for applications during October 2018 via the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s website, as well as the Social Innovation NI website. A series of information sessions will also take place across Northern Ireland during October and November for those considering applying. Dates and locations will be posted online once confirmed.
Applicants will be asked to highlight the social challenge they wish to address, why they think digital technology can help and the impact they hope to achieve. We’re looking for organisations that are open-minded about the best solution and willing to invest significant time and energy in a collaboration with their technology partner.
So stay tuned for further information about the launch of Techies in Residence 2019, when your organisation will have the opportunity to apply for support to enhance your social impact through the use of technology! There’s lots of ways to keep up date on the latest news including twitter via @CFNIreland or @ChangeTrust and via the Community Foundation’s website www.communityfoundationni.org or the Social Innovation NI website www.socialinnovationni.org