Sun Life Financial (SLF) have worked alongside Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) to promote enterprise and innovation among Computing and Mathematics students and this was never more evident than at the fourth annual Sun Life Enterprise & Innovation Awards.
Two outstanding students picked up the annual awards: the Innovation Award for a project that demonstrated uniqueness went to Sophie Renshaw from Charleville, Co Cork for her project ‘Deploying Openstack on Small Scale Architecture’ and the Enterprise Award for a project that demonstrated commercial potential went to Samuel Haycock from Clonmel, Co Tipperary for his QRLang project, allowing for complete games to be coded into a QR code.
Competition for the two awards was fierce with 20 projects submitted from a pool of final year honours undergraduate projects with 10 finalists invited to showcase their projects at an exhibition at Sun Life’s newly refurbished office in Waterford.
Following the exhibition, David Healy, Senior Vice President Client and Technology Services, SLF, United States, presented Sophie and Samuel each with a prize of €1,000.
Commenting at the ceremony, David Healy said, “The level of innovation and application of technology I have seen here today is outstanding and it’s only through innovation and idea generation that the global economy will continue to grow. It is really important for Sun Life to maintain and develop our links with colleges such as WIT. I would like to congratulation WIT for the quality of students and projects we have seen here today and reiterate our commitment to nurture this type of innovation at the Institute. I’m looking forward to being part of this event again next year.”
Professor Willie Donnelly, President of WIT and founder of the globally renowned ICT research centre TSSG congratulated Sun Life on its courageous decision to set up in Waterford 16 years ago which has had immeasurable benefits for the city and the wider south east.
Prof Donnelly went on to say that “the institute and Sun Life have forged a deep relationship founded on strong synergies and mutual goals. Our two organisations have collaborated on multiple levels over the years at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Masters in Communications developed collectively by WIT and Sun Life defines the industry-academic collaboration at the heart of what a technological university is about. At the centre of the programme is the concept of academic responsiveness building on the institute’s excellence in teaching and research to delivery regional economic impact.”
Karen Burns, General Manager Sun Life Waterford remarked on the standard and quality of the projects as ‘outstanding’.
Outside of these awards, Sun Life has a long standing relationship with the institute with 60% of the workforce having studied on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at some point in their career.
The successful finalists were: Samuel Haycock, Sophie Renshaw, Tony Finn, Stephen Long, Jamie Hegarty, David Ryan, Jamie Moore, Daniel Treyvaud, Eamonn Ryan and Seán Bray.