Techies in Residence - What

Techies in Residence - What's it all about

05 May 2015

Techies in Residence is the new programme from the Building Change Trust aimed at increasing connections between the digital and technological communities in Northern Ireland and the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE).

Over 15 months we’ll be furthering links, holding events and embedding techies in some of the best VCSE organisations to solve problems and take on opportunities.

Want to get involved?

Digital technology holds huge potential to help the VCSE sector develop new solutions to social problems.

The Techies in Residence programme, managed with CultureTECH. will bring together the respective expertise of digital technology practitioners and key members from the VCSE sector to create, develop and implement new digital social innovations in Northern Ireland.

The plan is that we’re going to work with up to 6 VCSE sector organisations over the next 15 months to help devise and deliver a relevant digital social innovation project that addresses needs of the organisation.

The open call for projects runs from April 30th to May 29th, and more info is available on the site.

At the end of the programme, the VCSE will have a prototype answer, and introductions to different funding options, as well as being showcased at the final conference, with international speakers on Digital Social Innovation in June 2016.

Each of the organisations will have a “techie”embedded into the organisation for  a period, working on the project with senior management.

It’s free to get involved, but it is going to be an intense programme that will require strong management buy-in over the course of the project.

We’re on the hunt for companies to help supply the techies. Techies in Residence is an exciting opportunity for NI tech companies to support the potential of digital social innovation, gain exposure for their organisations and CSR efforts and develop internal talent.

We hope that this can help prepare staff members for working on larger projects and getting ready for senior management roles.

Full-time participating companies can receive a contribution towards salary costs and will benefit from tremendous networking and development opportunities. 

Over the period, the techies will be working on one project whilst being on hand to help out on other projects. We’re also seeking companies that could help out on an ad hoc basis with support and advice for the techies.

The programme kicks off with an open call for VCSE projects- we’re looking for ideas that could be addressed with technology. We’re keen to help develop and refine the projects before the techies get stuck in.

Once we have the techies in place we’ll be hosting a bootcamp at the CultureTECH festival in September, kicking off the residencies of the techies. After a period of testing, we hope to show the prototypes to potential investors, as well as offering mentoring and support throughout.

The goal of this is to kickstart digital social innovation in Northern Ireland and showcase what can be achieved by combining the two fields, and can hopefully kick off some long standing partnerships between the tech and digital communities and VCSE organisations.

We’ll be bringing over some of the most influential leaders in community led tech projects, and will be giving plenty of inspiration as the project goes along on the blog.

It is hoped that this sparks debate, as well as creating a new generation of digital and tech thinkers that can help develop their skills working with the best VCSE organisations in Northern Ireland.

CultureTECH’s Connor Doherty, who will be managing the programme, said: “This project isn’t really about technology, it’s about innovation - bringing together smart, talented people from the tech sector and community sector to design and develop new ideas to tackle some really big problems.

"This can be huge for Northern Ireland and, we hope, will generate ideas and methods of working that can be applied across the globe".

For more information about the project, visit the website or contact Connor on

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