As the new Spring round of IT Innovation Challenges is launched, work on the previous round has just reached a crucial stage; the Pitch Events. At the events, shortlisted ideas get to present their project proposals to the Innovation Panel who then decide on the funding allocation. This time, two events were held; one for staff and one one for student proposals. The Panel was treated to a range of great presentations and had a wealth of interesting projects to consider. The decisions are now being circulated to applicants. As soon as the successful projects have formally accepted their offers, we will be announing the new projects.
To re-cap, each round of IT Innovation Challenges goes through the same stages. Ideas are first submitted and discussed (Ideas stage). They are reviewed (Review stage) and a shortlist of idea creators are selected to create a project proposal. The final part of the Project Proposal stage is the Pitch Events. At the event, idea creators, who have first submitted a written project proposal, get to ‘pitch’ their idea to the IT Innovation Panel. They are asked to give a 5-minute presentation where they briefly address three points: What is the project about, what benefits will it bring, and what could they do if they had to reduce their budget. The Panel then has the opportunity to talk to the creators ask questions about their projects. Decisions about what projects will be offered funding are made very shortly after the pitch event, and applicants are normally notified within a few days. The process has been designed to be quick and simple, and both Panel and applicants have expressed tehir appreciation of this.