Friday night saw public sector comms teams among those recognised for their achievements in digital communication at the eighth DANI awards, which celebrate the best of Northern Ireland’s digital communications. The award ceremony was held at Belfast’s Whitla Hall and compered by Scissor Sisters vocalist Ana Matronic.
Since 2011, the DANI Awards have been searching for the best talent and online technologies from individuals and corporations both large and small who push limits and deliver innovation and impact.
Changing Lives is the first app developed specifically to help offenders in Northern Ireland to stop engaging in crime and become rehabilitated. It has been recognised locally and internationally as an important tool in helping probation services engage more effectively. Whilst designed to help offenders, it can be downloaded and used by anyone.
The app features a journal so that those on probation can keep track of any issues in their lives and share their progress or any challenges they face with their probation officer. The app also contains an appointment calendar and an advice section which provides support and signposting for mental health and addiction issues. The app also allows people to ring directly through to probation staff as well as out of hours GP services, social services, housing, and others.
Another of our members, Catalyst Inc, won the award for Best Tech Blog for the second year in a row for their excellent blog, Techwatch.
Techwatch provides a weekly showcase of the latest technology breakthroughs in Northern Ireland, covering startups, investors, spinouts and inventors. Topic areas have included enterprise software, Big Data, IoT, agri-food, artificial intelligence, data analytics, life and health, connected home, aerospace, manufacturing, security and education.
DANI awards founder Naomh McElhatton said, “Digital media is everywhere with more content being produced every day and more businesses adapting to tech. There appears to be no stopping the growth of the sector in Northern Ireland with companies delivering projects for clients across the globe. What is popular one day can be almost non-existent the next so this year the judges will be looking at the entries who are keeping abreast of new trends and advances in technologies”.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive were also nominated for several categories including best Digital Comms Team.