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40 school pupils from around Northern Ireland will have the chance to sample life with a leading IT business as part of a summer initiative to develop future computing skills.

Novosco, which last year won a landmark £107m contract with Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, is working with Ulster University to give students between the ages of 16 and 17 the chance to gain hands-on IT infrastructure experience.

Novosco Camp will run at the university’s Jordanstown Campus between 29th July and 1st August 2019, with a day at Novosco’s world-class offices on 2nd August.

Free of charge, it will include the chance to hear and learn from Novosco team members, as well as sessions in Ulster University’s smart environment labs, which include robots and some of the latest smart technologies.

The Camp will be facilitated by Professional IT Engineers from Novosco working alongside specialist lecturers from the School of Computing and drawing on expertise from the Connected Health Innovation Centre at the University.

In addition to free registration, all participants will be provided with a free Raspberry Pi computer to keep, as well as a lunch voucher each day. There will also be complementary transport provided from Belfast city centre to the university.

The camp will help students develop their skills in areas including hardware and operating systems, creating a virtual server, machine learning / artificial intelligence, machine vision and sensor technologies, cloud technologies and consider the ‘Internet of Things’.

Novosco Managing Director, Patrick McAliskey, said:

“As a rapidly expanding business, we want to encourage and inspire the next generation of IT talent. IT infrastructure offers a highly-rewarding career, and working with Ulster University on this initiative will help us demonstrate that to even more young people.”

Ulster University School of Computing Associate Head of School, Dr Nicola Ayre said:

“As Northern Ireland continues to attract global tech companies and local tech companies continue to compete on a global stage, it is imperative that we have a steady stream of qualified graduates with strong technology skills to fill the well paid positions available. Novosco Camp in association with Ulster University aims to develop skills, raise ambitions and prepare future IT leaders by presenting the opportunity for participants to engage with our state-of-the-art robot, experiment with some of the very latest technology in our research labs and fully immerse themselves in the world of IT outside of a classroom setting.”

Novosco is an IT infrastructure company with clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors across the UK and Ireland, including some of the UK’s largest health trusts, many of Northern Ireland’s top companies, Premiership football teams, and police forces.

Ulster University’s smart environments include a smart kitchen, smart bedroom and smart living room, used to support investigations into the area of assistive technologies and activity recognition.

To complement this, a set of 400 sensing nodes is currently available to be deployed in a smart environment covering a footprint of over 6,800 square feet.

The university also has a multitude of mobile platforms and a recently installed mobile laboratory.