Techies in residence help local groups

Paul Braithwaite.
Paul Braithwaite.

A unique ‘tech for good’ project has paired a Coleraine community organisation with a leading tech company to harness the power of digital technology in order to make big changes to social problems.

The Building Change Trust’s Techies in Residence Programme brings together smart, talented people from the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector with digital specialists in order to tackle unique problems by using innovative solutions and create real social impact.

There was a huge amount of interest for the Techies in Residence programme, delivered by Innovate NI and from these high quality proposals.

Coleraine’s Focus on Family group has been selected to work with tech company Digital Key to create a digital resource to enhance visits to The Cornfield, a greenfield space for local communities in Millburn and Ballysally estates.

Work has now begun on the project with completion due in early June.

Techies in Residence aims to kick-start digital social innovation in Northern Ireland and showcase what can be achieved by combining the two sectors, developing long standing partnerships between the tech community and VCSE organisations.

Paul Braithwaite, who heads up the Building Change Trust’s work in Social Innovation, said: “The response to Techies in Residence has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We have a really strong group of VCSE organisations combined with technical experts who have a track record of developing successful innovative solutions to complex problems.”

“It’s not about one group ‘teaching’ the other how it’s done,” emphasised Paul.

“It’s about collaborating and mutual learning around shared challenges.

“The Digital Social Innovation or Tech for Good movement is growing hugely across Europe and internationally – Northern Ireland is behind the curve and needs to catch up, we’re trying to help,” he concluded.