New Covid Connect NI website helps connect digital solution providers with problems

  • Belfast City Council has launched a new tech matchmaking website that aims to connect digital innovators with solutions providers to help with Covid-19.

    The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted the normal tech ecosystem across Northern Ireland, making it more difficult for tech firms to bring their solutions to new clients right at the time they may be needed most. Many public, community, and voluntary organisations have been adversely affected by the lockdown or outbreak and now need the help of digital innovators to adapt.

    Education and events organisations have been affected by the lockdown, with many having to develop new online formats and materials to deliver to people in their homes. Belfast City Council itself is suffering a shortage of equipment for remote work for those in Employability Academy schemes, and needs help to explore future plans for the Employability Academy sector with the lockdown.

    Dozens of tech firms have signed up to offer support in areas ranging from payment solutions to data analysis on Covid-19, and a few voluntary organisations have posted requests for help so far. The council hopes that tech firms will offer their support on "a pro bono or discounted basis" and is encouraging organisations that need support or can offer support at this time to sign up. The site already has support from EY, Allstate NI, Analytics Engines, BT, Deloitte, Farset Labs, and more.

    Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Daniel Baker commented on the site: "The idea came about because we were receiving fantastic offers of help from our innovator community and lots of calls for help from those delivering key services during this crisis. Organisations are feeling the strain at the moment and, for some problems, digital can provide them with a solution."

    NICVA chief executive Seamus McAleavey was keen to highlight the needs of NI's voluntary sector: "It’s a challenging time for the voluntary and community sector who are in many ways at the forefront of the response to the Covid crisis. As organisations work through the process of adapting how they operate, this kind of specialist support from experts is a timely initiative."

    Source: Written based on press release, CovidConnectNI

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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