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Knowledge Transfer project scoops top Computing Award – University of Reading

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Knowledge Transfer project scoops top Computing Award

Release Date 17 November 2005

Donald Boag, Lynn Harris, Rachel McCrindle, Shirley Williams, Tom RobinsonA Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme between the University of Reading and GAP Activity Projects won the Voluntary Sector Project of the Year category at the prestigious Computing Awards for Excellence ceremony held at Battersea Park Arena last night (Wednesday 16 November). The Computing Awards are considered to be the Oscars of the IT industry, and last night's event, hosted by comedian Jack Dee, was attended by over 1,000 of the industry's most influential people. The Voluntary Sector Project of the Year recognises the best IT project completed during the past 12 months by a voluntary sector organisation, such as non-for-profit groups or charities. The project has to deliver improvements to fundraising or support initiatives vital to the work of the voluntary organisation. Reading's project, supervised by Dr Rachel McCrindle and Dr Shirley Williams of the School of Systems Engineering, saw the University teaming up with GAP Activity Projects, an educational charity that provides overseas volunteering placements for 17- to 25-year-olds. Each year, GAP Activity Projects places 2,000 volunteers in projects in 31 countries. Dr McCrindle said: "We are thrilled to have won such a distinguished award. It's testament to the hard work and skills of the team that was involved on this project. "Through the collaboration, GAP Activity Projects has been able to launch an electronic magazine to communicate with more schools, and overall marketing costs have been cut through the higher-profile web presence. It all supports greater internationalisation of the charity's work, aid fundraising and help create new services for GAP students." As part of the project, Reading BSc Computer Science graduate, Tom Robinson, 24, worked with Gap to web-enable its processes, as part of a Department of Trade and Industry-sponsored programme. A number of innovative systems were developed using modern programming tools such as XML, C# and SQL Server, including online applications and payments, management information, and interactive features to support a web community of volunteers. As a result of the project, more than 80 per cent of applications are now completed online, freeing up staff time for other work. The University's Knowledge Transfer Centre is one of the most successful in the country, with 45 programmes helping small and medium-sized companies access knowledge and skills within the University. End Notes for editors 1. Details of all the winner are in this weeks Computing magazine (Thursday 17th November). http://www.computing.co.uk VNU is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognised brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media measurement and information (Nielsen Media Research), business information (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing, Intermediair) and directory publishing (Golden Pages). VNU is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, The Netherlands, and New York, USA. The company employs 38,000 people. Total revenues amounted to EUR 3.9 billion in 2003. VNU is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam (ASE: VNU) stock exchange. For more information, please visit the VNU website at http://www.vnu.com 2. For more information about Reading's Knowledge Transfer Centre and the projects it runs, please see: http://www.reading.ac.uk/ktc 3. For media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer. T: 0118 378 7388. E: c.hillsley@reading.ac.uk

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