mTech.Academy Takes Home 2019 DANI Award for Education

18 March, 2019

Experiential Learning Initiative Wins Prestigious Award
for “Best Use of Digital / Innovation in Education & STEM”

18 March 2019, Belfast: mTech.Academy, which is focused on delivering experiential learning for the future of work, was named the winner of the 2019 DANI Award for “Best Use of Digital / Innovation in Education & STEM.” The award was presented to mTech.Academy co-founders Diane Morrow and Michael O’Hara during the DANI Awards ceremony held at Whitla Hall on Friday evening.  

“We are absolutely thrilled that mTech.Academy has received this award and thank the judging panel for this honour,” said Diane Morrow, co-founder, mTech.Academy. “We saw a gap in education in Northern Ireland, as students were learning to pass exams, but not developing the skills that would adequately prepare them for the workplace or being exposed to the technologies that are shaping our future. We knew this had to change – for our young people, for Northern Ireland employers and for our society.”

Established in 2010, the DANI Awards showcase and celebrate the best digital businesses in Northern Ireland, recognising the impact of digital technology and innovation across a wide range of organisations including large public and private companies, dynamic entrepreneurial businesses, promising start-ups, social enterprises and established small and medium enterprises. More than 450 companies and individuals entered the 2019 awards, which cover 20 categories.

Focus on Technology and Innovation
With the support of leading Northern Ireland companies, the mTech.Academy team has brought experiential learning to 300 students and continuing professional development (CPD) to 70 educators at 10 schools in the first year. Technology and innovation are at the very heart of the mTech.Academy vision. For example, mTech.Academy introduced students and teachers to collaboration tools such as Google Drive and Trello to help them share information, contribute to projects and communicate outside of class or the CPD sessions.

Next-generation technology formed the basis for the students’ signature project for the year, the “Smart Cities Challenge”. The students researched smart cities and developed real-world solutions that will help transform their communities into the smart cities of the future. Teams of students presented their smart cities proposals as part of their February trip to the world’s leading mobile tech showcase, MWC19 Barcelona.

While in Barcelona, the students also had the opportunity to visit the MWC exhibition with more than 2,400 companies showing off products ranging from new foldable phones to super-fast 5G networks to AI-driven robots. The Northern Ireland students also spent a day at YoMo (the Youth Mobile Festival), a programme of educational exhibits, theatre shows, interactive workshops and hands-on activities, all designed to inspire young people to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, art/design and math (STEAM).

“mTech.Academy is taking a unique approach to one of Northern Ireland’s biggest challenges: transforming the educational system into one that will truly prepare our young people to become the business leaders of the future,” said Naomh McElhatton, Founder and CEO of SMART Global, which produces the DANI Awards. “They are helping students and teachers understand technology trends and the impact that technological advances will have on the future of work, and importantly, providing the skills they will need to thrive in this digital world. Congratulations to the mTech.Academy team and we look forward to seeing great things from this initiative.”

Schools participating in the mTech.Academy programme for the 2018/19 school year are Abbey Community College, Aquinas Grammar School, Assumption Grammar School, Bangor Grammar School, Regent House School, St. Cecilia’s College, St. Ciaran’s College, Saint Conor’s College, St. Ronan’s College and Strangford Integrated College. mTech.Academy is supported by companies including PwC (Strategic Partner); Grant Thornton (Learning Partner); BT, Dawson Andrews, Instil, Novosco and Smiley Monroe (Industry Partners); and Around Noon, Bespoke Communications, Glandore, MCE Public Relations, Tenacity Works and W5 (Supporting Partners).


About mTech.Academy
Founded by experts from the education and technology communities, mTech.Academy delivers experiential learning for the future of work. The holistic mTech.Academy programme provides a project-based, technology-centric curriculum that addresses the specific requirements of students, teachers and head teachers, preparing them for new opportunities in the digital world. Combining innovative technology, creativity and real-world skills development, mTech.Academy empowers students, providing a strong foundation to achieve their potential.

For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @MtechAcademy and LinkedIn

Media Contact:
Beth Morrissey
+1 617 834 2278