Civica launches new programme to spark student innovation

CodeIT invites students to explore how emerging technologies can help transform public services and communities

A brand-new programme called CodeIT has been launched by the software applications company, Civica.

The new student programme aims to create an innovation space for young coders to explore real-world problems in new ways.

CodeIT will offer students the chance to apply a variety of software and coding skills to transform public and community services, all within a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

The student programme is kicking off with a series of coding events in conjunction with five of the UK’s leading higher education institutions: Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, The University of Bath, The University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE).

The events will see teams of budding technologists spend a day exploring new and emerging technology and using their creativity and innovation to find solutions to real-life scenarios. Students will be supported throughout the programme by a team of Civica CodeIT specialists. 

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Liam Fletcher, Mark O’Hara and John Wilcox-Beney (left to right) won the day’s main prize with their chatbot idea

The first event, held on Wednesday 7th March at Civica’s Belfast office, saw a number of teams take part in a 12-hour hackathon, with a £1,000 prize up for grabs for the top concept of the day. With ideas ranging from online councillor forums to a new car-sharing service, the winning team on the day triumphed with their chatbot concept designed to help residents easily navigate government websites.

Liam Fletcher, a second year student at Queen’s University Belfast and a member of the winning team, said: “It’s great to work with emerging technologies which you might not always get to use at university. I’ve always been really interested in chatbot technology and so it’s been amazing to have the chance to learn more about this – and win the first CodeIT event!”

Civica’s Chief Executive Wayne Story added: “We’re delighted to launch this new programme and to expand our work with universities to encourage students to innovate around real-world issues. The pace of change and expectation continues to accelerate we’re excited to see the ideas which CodeIT will stimulate as part of our continued focus on technology-based innovation.”

The second university coding event will take place on Wednesday 21st March at Civica’s south-west hub in Bristol. The event is open to current students studying IT-related disciplines at The University of Bath, The University of Bristol and UWE.

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