This year’s Summer of Student Innovation is underway with a new approach to engage a broader range of students and produce new technology that is more likely to lead to wide scale adoption.
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, the Summer of Student Innovation 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 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 ten 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 Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) to explore and develop your idea and make it a reality. The two projects selected will all receive funding of £20,000.
Those entering the competition must submit their applications by Monday 18 May 2015.
Andy McGregor, deputy chief innovation officer at Jisc says:
The exciting thing about the summer of student innovation competition is that it enables students to use technology to address the problems that they experience on a day to day basis. This leads to new technologies that should benefit universities and colleges and allow them to improve the student experience.
This year we have learned from the past two years and are running the competition differently. This year we are aiming to reach a broader range of students and to work with them to develop killer apps that are sustainable, scalable and easy to adopt.
Lukas Ondrej, an A-level student at Sussex Downs College and winner of last year’s competition says:
“Jisc's Summer of Student Innovation competition was an unforgettable experience that allowed us to not only greatly improve our performance, presentational and interpersonal skills but also to make valuable new business contacts and expand our horizons.”
One of the people who has helped shape the Summer of Student Innovation is John Shemilt, director of IT at Imperial College London, who commented:
“It may sound like an obvious answer, but those most likely to know what students want are students themselves.
Giving our bright generation of young people full credit for their ideas and an ongoing role in their development will improve student satisfaction and engagement and potentially uncover the entrepreneurs of the future.”
The 20 winning ideas teams will be showcased later this year in a ‘Dragons' Den’ style pitching event on 26 August in London.
This year’s Summer of Student Innovation is run in partnership with:
- The Association of Education and Learning Providers (AELP)
- Research Libraries UK (RLUK)
- Russell Universities Group of IT Directors (RUGIT)
- The Society of Colleges, National and University Libraries (SCONUL)
- University and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA)
- The Association for Learning Technology (ALT)
- 157 Group
- The Association of Colleges (AOC)
- The Education and Training Foundation (ATF)
- The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE)
- The Association of National Specialist Colleges (Natspec)
- Research Councils UK (RCUK)
- The Workers Educational Association (WEA)