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Barclays and SAS University Technology Challenge winners 2018/19

A team of students from the University of Bradford Department of Computer Science has won the Barclays and SAS University Technology Challenge 2018/19.

The team was tasked with creating a concept for an open banking app, with a theoretical project budget of £500,000. They had to come up with an original idea, and set project timelines and budgets for each stage of the project.

Two teams worked on the different aspects of the challenge; team one focused on the app design concept and team two on the financial and legal aspects of the project.

Both teams were supported by mentors from both Barclays and SAS, and coached by Professor Daniel Neagu.

The idea

The initial idea came from Software Engineering student Klaudia Bzdyk. She and her housemates wanted to make sharing food bills easier by enabling everyone to see when people have contributed to a food fund, how much they have put in, and giving each housemate the ability to spend the shared pot.

Although the initial idea was to take the hassle out of communal food shopping, the team quickly saw the benefits of the idea in a whole range of situations, and for a wide range of communities.

For preparation the team researched what open banking was capable of, and if it would allow them to realise this vision of a shared pot between bank accounts.

The solution

The winning entry was a proposed addition to the current Barclays banking app which added new 'pots' functionality - a shared pot that multiple people would be able to access from different accounts while having no financial link to the main account holder. 

This was an incredibly strong concept providing a simple solution to a real problem. The fact that the proposal involved modifying the exisiting Barclays app rather than creating a separate app also went down well with the judges, as it would improve user experience and even have the potential to boost customer retention / acquisition.

The team

My idea was inspired by the needs of an average student like me, and this competition showed me that solutions born of need are the most valuable. I would like to use a shared account myself, and I think that this idea would appeal to every group of friends who share the same expenses. This project also gave me the opportunity to analyse the process of creating applications - starting from the idea and ending with the final product. It is certainly an invaluable preparation for our future work. Klaudia Bzdyk
Although frustrating at times, the project was well worth the effort! It gave me the chance to lead an excellent team ultimately to a victory which was not expected. I would thoroughly recommend for anybody interested in taking part in similar challenges in future to give it a go as it is a great team building project, and has helped many in the team with having the confidence to present an idea to a group. Chris Delee
The Computer Science team members of the University of Bradford attending the Barclays and SAS University Technology Challenge have done a brilliant job in representing our programmes and winning the competition. They demonstrated originality, problem solving and programming skills, great communication and team work getting together an innovative business idea, a prototype, project costing and management, and marketing. The team demonstrated commitment and resilience and have been enthusiastic and professional representatives of the University and the Department. Professor Daniel Neagu

Computer Science at the University of Bradford

The amazing success of our team highlights how at Bradford you’re getting more than just a degree. We give our students opportunities that can put them head and shoulders above their peers after graduation.

From the chance to work on real-world industry projects within their degree course through our Computing Enterprise Centre, to placements with major international companies like IBM, Intel and Microsoft that our students are applying for right now, we want our graduates to have the academic and industry skills that employers want.

Find out more about Computer Science at Bradford, and apply for September 2019 >>