Busy Busy Busy - Tom
Hello! We’ve been very busy recently here at Blue Tap, so I thought I’d just use this blog post to keep you up to date on all the interesting things we’re working on and what we’ve got planned for the future.
On the tech side of the project, we’ve made great strides in recent months. We’ve got an extremely consistent new 3D printed prototype, and a shiny new test rig. I’m extremely grateful to Rich Roebuck in the Dyson Centre for putting up with me always badgering him for components and leafing endlessly through giant catalogues for me! It was lovely to showcase the work we’ve put in at the Cambridge Science Festival last month, explaining our technology to everyone from primary school kids to professors. The enthusiasm shown by everyone we chatted to was so encouraging, especially when they suggested improvements to the design, or some potential novel applications. It was an exhausting day, we reckon we spoke to over 300 people at our stall (though we think most of them were in the queue for the Virtual Reality), it’s always fantastic to be able to share our technology and our vision with anyone who will stop and listen.
We’ve also recently started a joint project with students on the Cranfield MSc course in Social Entrepreneurship. Having met with the research group recently, I’m looking forward to handing over our business plan to pick apart and critique and seeing what kind of strategies they come up with in their presentations. I’m sure they’ll recommend some interesting and challenging conclusions for us to work on over the summer.
The big news since the last blog post is that we’re going to be conducting our first field trial in Uganda this summer! Ces visited Mbarara recently and confirmed that we’ll be hosted by the Development Studies centre there, where we’ll be installing a demonstration Chlorine Injector test rig, and running workshops with plumbers, and other stakeholders within the community. This is a phenomenal opportunity for us to trial the technology with those who will truly benefit from it, before we pilot the technology within a community. We wholeheartedly believe in placing community engagement at the forefront of the human centred design approach which we advocate at Blue Tap, and the field trial will be the best possible way to put this into practice.
There’s a lot of work to do beforehand though; the next few months in the world of BlueTap are shaping up to be incredibly exciting. The preparations for the field trial start in earnest in the next few weeks, Becky and I will be hibernating in the Engineering department to ensure our prototypes are up to scratch for the demonstrations and workshops that we’ll be hosting. Given how much progress we were able to make last summer, with only one of us working part time, I can’t wait to see how quickly the design develops when we’ve got the time and space to commit to the project 24/7.
In the shorter term, having recently won the Social Enterprise category in the CUE £2K awards, we’re also in incredibly excited to have won the much coveted Cambridge University Entrepreneurs £10,000 award. Winning was one of our core goals of 2018. Massive shout out to Becky for dealing with all the tricky business questions during the pitch! We’d also like to say congrats our fellow cultivator venture, Majico, who also reached the final. It’s a testament to how quickly the tech4dev movement is growing in Cambridge that two development based, technology focussed, social enterprises were contesting the University’s most prominent business competition.
That’s all for now, but if you want to keep up to date with everything that we’ve got going on, please like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter. We’d love for you to be able to follow our journey and get involved with our campaigns!