Jisc launches summer of student innovation

Competition aims to enable students to realise their big ideas for using tech to improve education, research and student life

This year’s Summer of Student Innovation (SOSI) is underway and ideas are already being submitted for this year’s competition, offering further education, higher education (FE and HE) and work based learning students the chance to create solutions that could change the education landscape forever.

Now in its third year, SOSI is a Jisc co-design competition to enable students to realise their big ideas for using technology to improve education, research and student life for themselves and for their fellow students. This year’s competition is open to students in higher and further education and those in work based learning.

Successful entrants will be announced in June and receive a grant from Jisc, the charity which offers digital services and solutions for UK education and research. The funding will help students develop their ideas into apps and tools, support successful products to be piloted by universities, colleges and learning providers, and promote all ideas to other interested parties through sustainable routes. 

To take part students are asked to submit a short video pitch on the Jisc Elevator website, alongside a short summary and a 300-500 word description of their idea detailing the benefits and how it will impact upon research and education. The four categories this year are: 

The student ideas competition – Exploring ideas looking into how technology can improve the student experience in further or higher education. The final five projects will receive £2,000 funding from Jisc and those taken forward to the product development phase will then receive an additional £3,000. 

Supporting technology start-up projects – Start-up grants to assist existing teams to promote and pilot their products with universities, colleges or learning providers. Open to any team with an eligible sponsor in education. The five projects selected will all receive funding of £20,000.

The learner ideas in FE competition – Learner led ideas for using technology that could improve learning experience in FE and Skills. Funding of £5,000 per project five teams selected and an additional £5,000 for ideas selected by Jisc to develop into a product. 

The apprentice led ideas challenge – Ideas to improve learning from apprentices and trainees. You will work with your provider, Jisc and the https://www.aelp.org.uk/Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) to explore and develop your idea and make it a reality. The five projects selected will all receive funding of £20,000.

Those entering the competition must submit their applications by the 18th May 2015.

Andrew McGregor, deputy chief innovation officer at Jisc says: “Technological developments should not only come from academics, college and university managers and organisations operating in the education sector but from the ground up, enabling an internal and needs-led perspective. After the success of last year’s Summer of Student Innovation, we’re sure this year will be even bigger and better. 

“We look forward to receiving more creative ideas in different areas to support young people in improving the way they and their classmates interact with technology in their education.”