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UCLan students win top prizes to make edtech inventions a reality

UCLan students win top prizes to make edtech inventions a reality Banner Image

UCLan student and founder of Survey Exchange Jakub Zimola

A team from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won £5,000 to develop their education technology (edtech) idea

A team from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won £5,000 to develop their education technology (edtech) idea in collaboration with Jisc, after being announced as Summer of Student Innovation winners. Jisc is the digital services and solutions organisation for UK education and research.

The Summer of Student Innovation tasked teams with developing an idea which would solve big problems in the education sector that the students had experienced themselves.

Students completed a four day Jisc run ‘design sprint’ based on a technique developed by Google before going head to head to persuade judges in a Dragon’s Den style pitch. During the pitch day, 15 teams battled it out for funding and support from Jisc to develop their ideas into real products ready for market, as well as receiving first-hand experience of creative design, research, entrepreneurism and project management.

The UCLan team’s idea, Survey Exchange, came out on top. It enables students to find all the answers they need for their surveys using a unique point system.

As ever with the competition, the entrants were all outstanding and incredibly innovative. The competition really does show that students are best placed to address education sector issues, and their innovative ideas are perfect for supporting learning.

Andy McGregor, deputy chief innovation officer at Jisc, was on the judging panel: “This year I was impressed by how the student teams had decided to take on big problems that students and the sector have faced for a long time, such as effective public engagement for research, testing via quizzes and effective induction. I was even more impressed that the solutions they were pursuing to these problems were so original. As ever with the competition, the entrants were all outstanding and incredibly innovative. The competition really does show that students are best placed to address education sector issues, and their innovative ideas are perfect for supporting learning, teaching or research. We look forward to seeing where the ideas go in the future.”

UCLan student and founder of Survey Exchange, Jakub Zimola, said: “To win the Summer of Student Innovation is an amazing achievement for us. We are really excited about the next few months. Our project aim is bring more exposure to student surveys. We want to create a system that rewards researchers with increased visibility when they help to promote each other’s surveys and where reciprocity is rewarded. With the great network and experience that Jisc offers, we believe our cooperation will be the best way to take a next step in delivering a high quality platform for students and their research.”

We are exceptionally proud of Jakub. He is a driven student that takes every opportunity he's offered with extreme enthusiasm and he worked exceptionally hard on our International Business Communication degree.

David Leeming, Employability lead in the School of Language and Global Studies at UCLan added: “We are exceptionally proud of Jakub. He is a driven student that takes every opportunity he's offered with extreme enthusiasm and he worked exceptionally hard on our International Business Communication degree. He showed a keen interest in Enterprise and this led him to become the clear winner in our ‘Pitch your Business Idea’ School Competition which was held in Pardubice, Czech Republic in conjunction with our partner institution. With the advice he was given from that event he went from strength to strength.

“Jakub also has received a great deal of support from the Enterprising Students and Northern Lights team. He was subsequently awarded a Student Entrepreneurship Award. In addition, he has attended their extra-curricular workshops, Northern Lights workshops and networking throughout the year. All this support has greatly helped him.

“This close collaboration across UCLan demonstrates the institution at its best.”

The Summer of Student Innovation is in its fourth year and is managed by Jisc. It is a co-design project with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Russell Universities’ Group of IT Directors (RUGIT), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) and the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).

Press Office | 12 September 2016