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National Software Academy picks up tech award

4 March 2016

National Software Academy Class

University’s centre of excellence for software engineering recognised for close collaboration with business

Cardiff University’s National Software Academy (NSA) has picked up an award for close collaboration with business at a national technology awards ceremony.

The NSA, set up last year to address a national shortfall of skilled programming and software engineers in Wales, picked up the ‘Collaborative Partnership prize’ at the fourth annual ESTnet Awards.

The awards celebrate excellence in the electronics, software and technologies sector in Wales and have acknowledged the NSA’s important links with business, which form a central part of the NSA’s goal in providing students with the relevant skills that make them work-ready when they graduate.

Students enrolled onto the NSA work on real-life projects throughout their studies under the mentorship of experienced software engineers from industry.

By interacting with industry and getting a more rounded experience of how to market a product and run a business, the students develop ‘on the job’ experience that ultimately makes them more employable.

The three-year degree programme (BSc Applied Software Engineering) was launched last year in partnership with the Alacrity Foundation, with financial support from Welsh Government.

The award was presented to Matthew Turner, Project Manager for the National Software Academy, at an awards ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre on 2 March in front of 350 guests from the technology industry.

Mr Turner said: “It’s fantastic that in such a short space of time we’ve been able to build a number of strong relationships with leading businesses in Wales, and that this has been recognised by an esteemed network of technology experts in ESTnet.

“Businesses are a fundamental part of what we’re trying to achieve here at the National Software Academy and I’m confident that this recognition will help to attract more to come and work with us.”

Economy, Science and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “This is excellent news and recognises the collaborative work being undertaken by the Academy. I am delighted the Welsh Government is supporting such an important initiative that will ensure companies in Wales will have access to highly skilled professionals with the right skills, training and hands on experience to support the growth of their businesses as well as the wider sector.”

Professor Simon Gibson, Chairman of the Alacrity Foundation, said: "I am delighted the National Software Academy has been recognised for the innovation around applied teaching and its industrial partnerships. The Academy is developing excellent work ready graduates who can be productive from the moment they enter the workplace and immediately contribute to the success of their employers. Furthermore, through the Academy’s association with the Alacrity Foundation, a new generation of Software entrepreneurs are also being prepared to create start-up companies in the Welsh Economy.”