The Duke’s Office took a look back at 2014, here are twelve of our highlights:
Pitch@Palace – 2nd April and 5th November, 2014
Having met aspiring Entrepreneurs across the UK, it was clear that more could be done to support British start-ups on their journeys. Similarly investors, CEOs, angels and potential mentors in The Duke’s network were looking for opportunities to better engage with Entrepreneurs. So, in April 2014, HRH founded Pitch@Palace to support Entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas by connecting them with potential supporters. Two Pitch@Palace events were held at St James’s Palace in 2014 showcasing 76 Entrepreneurs. Each event has been attended by around 400 guests and over 700 connections between Entrepreneurs and the attending guests have been made to date. A number of the top outcomes for Pitch@Palace companies are recorded on this website. Pitch@Palace received significant media interest with coverage in WIRED, CNN, The Financial Times, BBC Radio 5 Live and The Daily Telegraph.
The inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) – launched 31st March, 2014
The Duke, through talking to people across the UK and beyond about Education and Skills, saw a need for more to be done to create opertunities for young people to develop Digital and Enterprise skills. Following a period of research, HRH launched a pilot scheme for iDEA in March 2014 in partnership with Nominet Trust. After a six month pilot phase, The Duke launched the nationwide iDEA programme in October 2014 at Buckingham Palace. The launch event also provided an opportunity to announce the three winners of the iDEA pilot competition, each of whom received £15,000 of funding as well as mentoring and other support. The iDEA programme seeks to improve the digital and enterprise skills of one million young people in the next five years.
The award has gained significant support from the business community and has been featured by a number of national news outlets including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and BBC One’s – The One Show. For more information visit the iDEA website.
Buckingham Palace Careers Fair Video Premiere – 5th March, 2014
When meeting The Duke, young people often ask about working for the Royal Family. To answer this question HRH’s office worked with the Royal Household to assemble a group of 17 organisations including City Gateway, University of East London, Youth Support Services, Teens and Toddlers and LEAP to attend a careers fair at Buckingham Palace. To help reach a wider audience HRH invited students from Hackney UTC to make a film of the event, to show what it would be like to work in the Royal Household. The video “Behind the Palace Gates” was produced with support from BOSH (Mother’s film production arm) and first screened in March 2014 at their Headquarters in London. It has since been watched more than 17,000 times.
UK Technology Reception – 9th June, 2014
Last summer The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh held a reception to recognise the work of the UK Technology Industry. The Duke played a key role in supporting the showcasing of UK Innovation. Around 350 guests from across the UK attended representing all areas of the Technology Sector from Biomedical to Digital Technology with a number of displays set up to highlight British success in Technology. The reception was covered in The Guardian.
TeenTech at The Royal Society – 25th June, 2014
The Teen Tech Awards is a nationwide competition where student teams develop an idea for a new technology or a product to address the problems they see in the world and in their own lives. The Duke, who is Patron of TeenTech, attended the finals at The Royal Society in London. HRH met with each of the 37 teams and talked with them about their innovative ideas. The eleven winning teams were then invited to Buckingham Palace for an Awards Ceremony on 13th October, 2014 which was reported by BBC Newsround. You can find out more about TeenTech and the competition on their website.
Dojo@Palace – 10th July, 2014
The Duke is a great believer in the importance of learning coding skills from a young age, and so supports a number of coding initiatives for young people. In July 2014, HRH hosted a coding event, in partnership with CoderDojo, at Buckingham Palace. 60 young people aged between 6 and 18, from five local schools participated in a CoderDojo in the staff dining room. Representatives from local businesses also attended and, as a result of the event, are now regularly holding CoderDojos in the Victoria area. The event was featured in the Evening Standard and The Sunday Express. You can find out more about CoderDojo on their website.
Ladder for the Black Country – 24th September, 2014
In November 2012, The Duke – a long time supporter of Apprenticeships – became Patron of the Ladder for London campaign, an initiative led by the Evening Standard to encourage the business community to take on more Apprentices. Following the success of Ladder for London, which has created 1,457 Apprentice positions, HRH encouraged and supported regional newspapers across the UK to replicate this model and challenge their own business communities to do the same. The Duke agreed to be Patron of Ladder for the Black Country and, in September 2014, visited The Express and Star to meet Apprentices in the newly launched scheme. You can see The Express and Star’s coverage of the day here. So far seven regional ‘Ladder for’ initiatives have been launched in Gloucestershire, the Black Country, Cambridge, County Durham, Leeds, Kent and Northern Ireland.
CBBC Appsolute Genius – 7th November, 2014
In November 2014, The Duke chaired the panel of judges for the CBBC Appsolute Genius competition at Buckingham Palace. The competition was open to 6-12 year olds and provided the opportunity for young people to design an App based game. The competition recieved nearly three thousand entries and formed part of the BBC’s “Make it Digital” Initiative to inspire a new generation of young people to become involved with coding, programming, and digital technology. For more information visit the CBBC website.
Commonwealth Science Conference – 25th to 28th November, 2014
HRH, a Royal Fellow of The Royal Society, opened the Commonwealth Science Conference in Bangalore, India in November 2014. The Conference was organised by The Royal Society and supported by the Government of India and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. It was the first Commonwealth Science Conference for 40 years. The Duke delivered a message on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at the Opening Ceremony. The conference was attended by the President of India, 300 scientists and 70 PhD students from 30 Commonwealth Countries to celebrate scientific endeavour and provide a platform for knowledge sharing. For more information on the conference visit the website.
Key to Freedom – December, 2014
The Duke visited the Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) during his Diamond Jubilee visit to India in 2012. WIF provides vulnerable young women from West Bengal, India, with the skills to earn an income. After the visit HRH established Key to Freedom as an initiative to support WIF and find a route to market for the products made by the women on their programmes. Thanks to fantastic support in the UK the products are now on sale in Topshop. In December 2014 the fourth range of products (scarves, kimonos, wash bags) went on sale. To find out more visit the Key to Freedom website.
Opening of The Trampery, Old Street – 2nd December, 2014
The Duke has visited new business incubators and accelerators across the UK and heard first hand how important their help can be in establishing new businesses. In 2014 HRH opened the latest facility by The Trampery at the heart of London’s ’TechCity’. The Duke is Patron of The Trampery, a shared workspace where creative and technology focused Entrepreneurs work and share ideas. The Trampery first opened in Shoreditch in 2011 and now has five sites across London. Over 300 companies have started and grown as part of The Trampery community across London. To find out more visit their website.
The Duke of York Awards for Technical Education – 8th December, 2014
As Patron of University Technical Colleges, and a long standing supporter of skills and technical education, The Duke heard that many young people and their teachers did not feel recognised in the same way as those pursuing a purely academic education. To address this HRH established The Duke of York Award for Technical Education in partnership with The Baker Dearing Trust. The awards celebrate the achievements of students in University Technical Colleges (UTC’s) across the United Kingdom.
In December 2014 The Duke hosted the second Awards Ceremony at St James’s Palace where 120 students from The JCB Academy in Staffordshire, Black Country UTC, Hackney UTC and UTC Central Bedfordshire attended to be recognised for their achievements. For more information on the award visit the University Technical Colleges website.