Since its inception in 2016, Digital Xtra Fund has distributed £660,000 to 80 high-quality, exciting extracurricular computing and digital technologies initiatives across Scotland. This funding has helped engage nearly 38,000 young people in tech and showed them the breadth of opportunities these skills can provide.
In February 2021, Digital Xtra Fund will open applications for a sixth funding cycle to further boost interest in computing and technology amongst young people across Scotland. Grants of up to £5,000 will be awarded to extracurricular activity providers that teach children and young people skills and concepts such as coding, computational thinking, digital creativity, data science and cyber security and help inspire Scotland’s next generation of digital makers, leaders and technologists.
Applications for the Round VI (2021/22) grants cycle will open shortly and close in April 2021. Successful applicants will be announced in June with supported initiatives running between July 2021 and June 2022, aligning supported activities with the academic year. This year, the grants programme will also include at least two grants focused specifically on cyber security skills funded by the Scottish Government under the cyber resilience strategy.
Also new for this round, proposed activities must be delivered entirely through remote learning channels or have processes and procedures in place to continue running remotely should in-person or blended learning become untenable.
The core objective of Digital Xtra Fund is to inspire young people to learn digital technologies skills through high quality, exciting extracurricular activities, thus expanding the talent pipeline of young people who study technology related disciplines and ultimately pursue a career in digital technologies.
Applications are sought for initiatives which tangibly demonstrate exciting and stimulating ways of engaging young people. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how participants will be involved in the digital making/creation and what skills they will learn. In particular, Digital Xtra Fund is keen to support projects which appeal to:
Activities which provide ‘real-world’ context to the skills learned and promote industry engagement or highlight career pathways are also particularly of interest. Partnerships with other organisations such as industry, industry bodies, charities, schools, other extracurricular activity providers, etc. are strongly encouraged to help achieve this aim.
The Digital Xtra Fund grant awards are made possible by the generous support of the Fund’s Partners. The commonality across Digital Xtra Fund and our Partners is a will to engage and inspire more young people to understand and create with digital technologies and give them the skills needed to succeed in an increasingly digital world. In addition to providing financial support, many of the Fund’s Partners will also help successful applicants via employee engagement, further contextualising skills and promoting various career pathways.
Digital Xtra Fund will be looking for evidence that the grant is needed, is of value, and that the activity will provide a positive impact on the provision of extracurricular digital technologies and computing science activity across Scotland for young people aged 16 years and under.
Applicants will need to clearly demonstrate how the proposed activity aligns with the objectives of Digital Xtra Fund and well as:
Grant applications for the Round VI (2021/22) Grant Awards opened on Tuesday, 16 February, 2021.
The closing date for applications is Thursday, 22 April, 2021.
Please fully read the Grant Guidelines prior to completing the Grant Application. Incomplete applications will not be considered for evaluation.
We look forward to reading all the fantastic ideas of how to engage more young people in tech in 2021/22!