Around 4,500 people flocked to the Fort for the biggest technology event the Channel Islands have ever seen. The Jersey Tech Fair was a free community event celebrating all that’s digital. During the two-day event it was also announced that six secondary schools are to receive OpenROV underwater robots for the BCS Jersey schools competition.
The Tech Fair saw exhibitors, speakers, workshops and hands-on demonstrations aimed at inspiring people of all ages and technical-ability. Fort Regent Events Manager, Emma Turner, said it was one of the biggest events recently held at the fort, “Fort Regent was delighted to be one of the three key partners who made this event happen.
Community is very important to the fort and this really was a fantastic community event catering to all islanders. We had kids’ workshops, people just curious to try out the latest gadgets and talks for businesses, parents and students – and it was all free. It was a great opportunity for local business, schools and individuals to showcase their work and share and learn from others, and for the people of Jersey to see just how much digital progress is being made locally.”
The fair was opened by Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for digital, Senator Philip Ozouf, and Education Minister, Rod Bryans who both stayed to enjoy the fair and meet exhibitors, including the UK based DragonsHall. The educational charity were brought over thanks to sponsorship from KPMG, to teach free workshops to children in coding, 3D printing and digital design.
Also very popular at the fair, was Vizuality Studio, the virtual reality company, who were able to build a large virtual reality set offering free sessions, after being sponsored by PWC. Free Wifi for the event was provided by JT.
Ronnie Isherwood, Chairman, the Chartered Institute for IT, Jersey and a Founder of Jersey Tech Fair said, ‘The impact of the Tech Fair isn’t just for the two days of the year, we know it has inspired people from the kids who are now joining the teenage coding club, Jersey Coders to adults who are looking at up-skilling or re-training and businesses who were able to network and showcase their achievements. It is the OpenROV competition which we are also particularly pleased with as thanks to our sponsors there are now six secondary schools which will be able to participate in this important STEM educational project.”
The OpenROV competition was run by the BCS Jersey (The Chartered Institute for IT), in collaboration with Digital Jersey, Fort Regent, Tech Tribes and sponsors: NedBank Private Wealth, IQ Store and Grant Thornton. The OpenROV is an open-source underwater robot which can be used for exploration and education. Students will learn navigation, engineering, mapping and programming, whilst also understanding hardware and software, robotics, project management and presentation skills.
Judges of the OpenROV competition were: Gareth Jeffreys, Andy Le Seelleur, Emma Gamble, Andrew Barrette, Alexsis Wintour, Johnathan Shrives and Tim Evans.
The makers of OpenROV have created a video for the Jersey winners.