A new bursary, giving young entrepreneurs in the North West the opportunity bring their creative ideas to life, has been launched by FabLab Nerve Centre, as a legacy project of NORIBIC in memory of the late educationalist Peter Gallagher.
The Peter Gallagher Memorial Business Support Award will support entrepreneurs and makers, aged between 16 – 25 from Derry~Londonderry, Donegal and Tyrone, to prototype, manufacture and pilot their idea in the market.
Working with the FabLab, 12 shortlisted participants will be guided through a process of product design and testing and complete an OCN Level 2 in Digital Fabrication, in partnership with South West Regional College. They will be trained in using the latest digital fabrication equipment such as 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters and CNC machines.
Six finalists will then be chosen to take their idea from concept to reality with a budget of £500 for materials with support from FabLab and will compete over a ten week period to see which product is able to generate the highest sales; greatest profitability; best social impact and future potential.
Peter Gallagher, who passed away in April 2015, spent his whole career in education, first as a teacher in both primary and secondary schools, then as Principal/Director of the Regional Technical College in Letterkenny and, latterly, as Director of the North West Institute.
Speaking on behalf of the Gallagher family his wife Margaret said: 'The Peter Gallagher Memorial Business Support Award is a fitting tribute to Peter’s long contribution to education and training in the North West. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to showcase their creativity and let their imaginations run wild. We are delighted to have FabLab and South West College onboard and I look forward to seeing the participants progress their ideas.'
Ideas for the bursary can be submitted via this link from Friday 9 March at 11am.
After the closing date of Friday, April 6, the ideas will be shortlisted by a panel of judges drawn from the local enterprise and manufacturing sectors, who will also provide mentoring throughout the competition.
Sharon Tosh, Education Manager at Nerve Centre said: 'We’re delighted to be launching this new bursary as part of Derry and Strabane Enterprise Week. Through this new programme we are nurturing the next generation of young entrepreneurs and makers, particularly when it comes to the practicalities of product development, planning, marketing and selling.
We’re looking forward to working with the finalists in our FabLab and through the use of our state-of-the-art digital fabrication machines and experience, help them bring their ideas to life. Watch this space!'