IBM IXN Programme

A programme designed to bring industry and academia together to address the worlds most pressing challenges and offer a rapid route to innovation. Engage with IBM, world class universities and industry to create world changing technologies.

The IBM IXN is a founding member of the National Framework for IXN's supported by UK Govt.

Featuring the Food Poverty Hackathon for UCL Engineering - see below for details 

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Our Special Feature

Introduction to the trussel trust

Welcome to the Food Poverty Hackathon

Your designs will be based around ten catagories, and will go into a pool of projects to be taken up by CS students to build early prototypes.

  1. LIFT PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY -  Imagining a world without the need for food banks – how can technology lift people out of acute poverty?   See why this is important
  2. CHANGE PERCEPTIONS -  Changing perceptions on poverty and the use of / need of food banks – how can technology be used to educate, illustrate and convince people of the problems and solutions to contributing to poverty and the need to use food banks in the UK? . See why this is important
  3. RAISE AWARENESS- What is your view of hunger in the UK and the impact across the UK? How does your view compare to the views of others across the UK and how do you compare to your peers? Is your local area in one segment? See why this is important
  4. PREDICT THE NOW – how can predictive analytics be used to consider food bank use alongside changes in external conditions such as unemployment, weather, transport links? Can you highlight where there is potentially over and under use of food banks? See why this is important. 
  5. PROVIDE INSIGHT -  Understanding what’s happening – how can data dashboards be best used to display, monitor and provide insight on the operational working of food banks? See why this is important
  6. ACCESS HELP -  Navigating the benefits systems – how can technology be used to help people access the right welfare assistance for them, especially when they do not have ready access to or understanding of the internet? See why this is important
  7. GENERATE SUPPORT -   Providing stock for your local food bank – how can technology nudge and encourage public supporters to purchase an extra item for their local food bank? See why this is important
  8. EMBED INTELLIGENCE - Automating empty alert for supermarket collection points – how does a food bank know when the collection points are full and the items need collecting? See why this is important
  9. EXPAND COMMUNICATION-  Can technology provide language translation between food bank volunteers and those who are referred to the food bank and struggle to communicate in English? See why this is important
  10. BUILD SKILLS -  What can I cook with my food parcel contents? How can technology provide a beneficiary with simple recipes to cook based on the food items in their food parcel? See why this is important

Explore the Catagories

Click through the catagory outlines below to find inspiration for your idea

Call to Action!

A Call to Action! The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks to provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, as well as campaigning for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
Last year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed a record 1.9 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis, and need has risen still further since the Covid-19 pandemic began. In April 2020, there was an 89% increase in need compared to the same month last year, and this winter food banks in the Trussell Trust are forecast to give out a shocking six food parcels every minute.
This isn’t right. Whilst food banks provide a vital community service, they shouldn’t be needed at all. Hunger isn’t about food – it's about people not having enough money for the essentials. Poverty and hunger aren’t inevitable, and we all have a part to play in building a more just, more compassionate society in our post-Covid future where food banks are no longer needed. Together, we know this can change Find out more about the Trussel Trust here.
Get started by participating in our Food Poverty Hackathon

Where to start

Below we will point you to resources to get your started on your hackathon journey.  

Explore the resources below  they  will lead you through vital tool and communities to make the most of your hackathon experience. From the Moodle board where you begin your journey, to applying Brainstorming and Design Thinking principles to your ideas with Mentimeter , collaborating with Mentors via our Reddit community and then being able to manage your project with Trello.

Let's get started...

Start your hackathon journey here

Click the button to start your hackathon experience

Collaborate and brainstorm your ideas 

Click the button to access the Mentimeter tool

Collaborate with your mentors in our REDDIT community

Click the button to work with a Mentor on your idea

Plan and manage your project idea with Trello

Click the button to open up a TRELLO space

What is the IBM IXN?

The IBM IXN, with the National Framework for IXNs, offers the opportunity to join a network of world class universities and industry partners in addressing some of the worlds most pressing challenges.  Students engage in projects learning vital industry skills using cutting edge technologies to create world changing applications. For industry the IBM IXN offers the opportunity to innovate rapidly, collaborating with some of the best academic minds in the UK.

Climate & Sustainability

On opportunity for talented academic minds to  develop solutions using IBM technology such as IBM Cloud, Watson & IoT to address Climate Change and support Sustainability. 

Studying the Impact of COVID 19

Loneliness can stem for a need for social interaction.  COVID-19 has unmet needs that can lead to  poor medical and social outcomes, impacting families and society as a whole.  Utilise IBM Cloud services incuding Watson and IoT  to create solutions to address this growing problem.  


Supporting Wellness

Utilise some of the worlds most cutting edge technologies to support social and individual Wellness. From looking at Social Isolation to exercise games in VR  - the choice is yours.

Rapid Innovation

Industry are encouraged  to offer their ideas for Proof of Concepts, and work in collaboration with the best minds in academia to develop these PoC's, utilising IBM technologies. There is no cost and all IP is retained by the industry partner.   

Find out more about the IBM IXN

Contact us

Whether you are in industry and have an idea, or a university wishing to engage in world changing projects for your students, contact us below

Dean is a Principal Teaching Fellow at the Software Systems Engineering Group, Department of Computer Science, University College London. 

John is an IBM Senior Inventor, and leads IBM's University Programs in the UK. John is also an Honorary Professor at Sheffield Hallam University. 

Graham is a Principal Teaching Fellow at the Software Systems Engineering Group, Department of Computer Science, University College London. 

Resources for Universities

Trello Board

Trello board which provides free access to IBM technology via Academic Initiative and hands on tutorials from A.I to Quantum

Guest Lecture Catalogue

Our Guest Lecture Catalogue which provides students and faculty the means to request live lectures on an array of expertise

REDDIT Community

Participate in our REDDIT community. Especially useful for when you are building a project and need some expert advice