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Software Cornwall’s Festival of Tech event programme revealed

The first events for Cornwall’s debut Festival of Tech have been revealed, with an opportunity for businesses and organisations to get involved and shape the programme.

Delivered by Software Cornwall, the Festival of Tech will take place from 12 to 25 February 2024 at venues across the Duchy.

Funded by the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, the festival brings together partners TECWomen CIC and Screen Cornwall to present a packed fortnight of events for tech enthusiasts of all ages.

Businesses will have the opportunity to submit their own events, as well as apply for grants of between £250 and £2000 to put on their own tech activity. The team is calling for grant applications from small community groups or individuals who would like to launch their own event with a tech, digital or software focus.

The Software Cornwall team is also looking for volunteers to support the smooth-running of the festival.

“We’re excited about how our programme of events is shaping up for Cornwall’s first Festival of Tech. Our aim is to reach a broad community across age groups, education and business sectors – so we are spanning February half-term and the following week to capture these audiences.

“There’s lots of ways our tech sector can get involved – from joining us on our core events, to putting on their own sessions or volunteering. We would love to hear from any businesses or organisations doing brilliant things in the tech sector so we can put Cornwall on the national stage.

“With our event grants, we’re keen to support communities that are often missed from main event activity. It could be a meetup, a hackathon, a demo event, something for your local community, a lecture, a showcase, a ‘come and try’ day, a conference, an experience or a workshop. The possibilities are endless and the more creative the better!”

Niki Davies, director at Software Cornwall

Software Cornwall gave a preview of the events being planned at the Festival of Tech’s launch event on 16 November. Highlights include:

The Big Cornish Tech Showcase at Heartlands: Tuesday 20 February. An event dedicated to demonstrating the quality of digital and software expertise in Cornwall and connecting local businesses with national buyers. The event will include an exhibition, talks and a start-up pavilion to showcase ground-breaking innovations being developed in Cornwall.

A call for speakers and workshop leaders is out now – it’s open to both experienced and first-time speakers, technical and non-technical, and there will be three tracks: vendors, tech specialists and workshop hosts, with talks ranging from 15 mins to 60 mins.

Ctrl-Alt-Del Summit at Hall for Cornwall: Wednesday 21 February. A one-day summit bringing the tech industry and communities together to explore what an accessible and inclusive future looks like, plus the role technology and innovation play in getting us there.

Tech Jam on Tour: Monday 12 to Friday 16 February: A roadshow offering a chance for students to try tech. Sessions running every day during half term, from St Ives in the West, Bude in the North and Liskeard in the South East.

Mission to Mars Bytesize, Penzance: Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 February –  A bite-sized version of Software Cornwall’s award-winning challenge to code Mars rover robots – expect coding, teamwork and a chance to learn about what it’s like to be a software engineer.

A Fibrehub LED workshop: Wednesday 15 February – code the display of 15,000 LEDs on Pool’s FireHub building into a spectacular light display.

Tech Jam Late, Penryn: Thursday 22 February: A chance for adults to try out all things tech and find out about opportunities in the tech and software industries.

TECWomen will be hosting the CTRL ALT DEL summit, aimed at encouraging inclusivity within the tech industry.

Caitlin Gould, TECWomen’s founder, said: “It’s wonderful to see the Cornwall Tech and Digital companies all come together to present a diverse event offer. The launch event in November really helped us to build up excitement and interest in Ctrl Alt Del and we’ve already had a number of ticket orders come in!

“I’m really looking forward to all the collaboration across local organisations as we continue to plan and deliver these ground-breaking events and programs in Cornwall and I can’t wait for the festival next February.”

Software Cornwall’s Festival Of Tech has received £453,699 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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