10 July 2024

Netcompany is an IT service company that delivers business-critical strategic IT projects which accelerate customers’ digital transformation through digital platforms, core systems and infrastructure services. Their scholarship is awarded to one female scholar each year to support their work elevating women in software engineering.

In 2023, Netcompany established the Smart Cities Challenge with the Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise which tackles social disadvantage and connects young people to opportunity. The challenge aims to support schools with the highest number of students eligible for free school meals and the largest population of students who speak English as an additional language. 

The nine-week programme gave students from across London the opportunity to explore how technology is used around the city and how smart technology such as AI can be used in the future. Using this knowledge, they were challenged to design their own smart city with the help of mentoring sessions with volunteers from Netcompany who helped the students with their projects throughout the process.

Each student presented their idea to a panel of judges and the winning team from each school was selected to compete in the grand final at the University of Westminster. The judges included employees from Netcompany as well as Netcompany scholar and Westminster Software Engineering (Conversion) MSc student Marta Unterschute. 

About the challenge Marta Unterschute said: “I was honoured to be selected as a judge for the Smart Cities competition. The creativity and ingenuity demonstrated by the students was very impressive, making the judging process exceptionally challenging. The innovative ideas and insightful presentations gave me great confidence in the capabilities of the next generation."

Jordan Scammell, Head of Development and Fundraising added: "What an inspiring event this was! We had the pleasure of hosting Netcompany’s Smart Cities competition, welcoming year 8 students from four local schools. Their confidence, presentation skills and passion were truly remarkable. These young minds showcased innovative tech solutions to address pressing sustainability challenges in urban environments. They are the changemakers of tomorrow! Thanks to Netcompany for the various programmes they generously support at our University!"

This initiative directly contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Since 2019, the University of Westminster has used the SDGs holistically to frame strategic decisions to help students and colleagues fulfil their potential and contribute to a more sustainable, equitable and healthier society.  

Find out how you or your organisation can support similar initiatives via the University of Westminster Development website or email the Development Team