Building on ten years of grant making in socially motivated tech, Nominet Trust evolves as Social Tech Trust.

  • Nominet Trust evolves into Social Tech Trust
  • Social Investment Business becomes a new member and strategic partner
  • New grant fund opens in July 2018

The UK’s leading dedicated grant maker in socially motivated tech, formerly known as Nominet Trust, has evolved into Social Tech Trust, with Social Investment Business becoming a new member and strategic partner. Social Tech Trust continues its commitment to supporting socially motivated tech with a new £0.5 million grant funding programme for early stage ventures.

The Social Tech Trust grant fund Tech to unite us, will support ventures demonstrating how tech can reach its transformative potential when it is driven to address one of the greatest social challenges of our time – inequality.  Tech to unite us will open for applications in July 2018.

Social Investment Business CEO, Nick Temple will join the Board of Social Tech Trust as the two organisations form a new purposeful strategic partnership focused on scaling social impact with tech. Nick is a leading figure in the social investment and enterprise sectors and was previously Deputy CEO at Social Enterprise UK.  Nick joins existing Board members, Bill Liao, Beth Murray, Sebastien Lahtinen and Hannah Keartland.

Bill Liao, Chair of Social Tech Trust said, “Powerfully leveraging tech with purpose will be strengthened by the Trust’s new standing as a key independent contributor to the UK tech ecosystem, in partnership with Social Investment Business. We are all looking forward to delivering our next round of grants to empower a new generation of tech that transforms lives.”

Rt Hon Hazel Blears, Chair of Social Investment Business said, “I am delighted that we are entering into a strategic partnership with Social Tech Trust. New technology is reshaping the world we live in and the world that charities and social enterprises operate in, attracting new talent and creating new models of change. There’s never been a more exciting and important time to enter into this partnership with the potential to transform people’s lives for the better.

“This area is a key priority for Social Investment Business to ensure we can best support the social sector in future. We have complementary skills and expertise as partners, and I am looking forward to working closely with Bill and his team in the coming years to help more organisations harness the power of technology”.

Social Tech Trust will uphold Nominet Trust’s heritage of supporting socially motivated UK start-ups and businesses that are transforming lives with tech.  The Trust’s growing portfolio of over 750 initiatives includes Open Bionics, creators of the bionic Hero Arm; GiveVision that specialises in life-changing vision technology and Open Utility, the pioneering start-up, democratising the energy sector.

Social Tech Trust will continue to back innovative partnerships, including their £1m backing of Fair By Design, which aims to end the poverty premium within the next 10 years, and their contribution to the £1 million iAMDigital programme, in partnership with Creative England.

After ten years as Nominet’s corporate foundation, the Trust is now independent and able to attract funding from other sources to help expand their programmes.

Nominet has supported the Trust with funding of £44m over the last ten years.  Moving forward, Nominet is committed to investing in its own programme to help one million young people overcome the challenges of the digital age.

Mark Wood, Chair of Nominet, said: “As we focus on Nominet’s ambitious pubic benefit programme, it’s the right time for the Trust to have the freedom they need to pursue their social tech agenda.  We thank the team for their enormous contribution over the last 10 years, and wish them well as they embark on an exciting new partnership.”

March 9, 2018. DigitalAgenda today announces the 14 winners of the 2018  Impact Awards – celebrating tech-for-good innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us — following an exclusive unveiling in front of an audience of 300 tech-for-good innovators, investors, policymakers and academics at a ceremony at the Oval Space, in the heart of the east London tech business cluster.

The Impact Awards are sponsored by Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading social tech funder, in association with Berenberg, one of Europe’s longest-established private banks. Now in their second year, the awards are open to any business, government or non-profit using digital products or services for positive social or environmental benefit.


Julian Blake, DigitalAgenda director commented: “We set up the Impact Awards as a celebration of technology being used for impact not just profit, and we’ve been blown away by the quality of the 253 entries we received this year, from right across the UK. Digital technology can help us address the serious challenges that the world faces today – and it can help deliver change fast and at scale – whether in education, health, or the need for more sustainable living. Today’s Impact Awards winners are pioneering examples of what is possible and we’re delighted to be able to reward their fantastic achievements.”

Vicki Hearn, director of awards headline sponsor Nominet Trust, said: “Today we celebrate the very best in social tech innovation in the UK. I’d like to congratulate the winners and all the organisations shortlisted for their many achievements. For 10 years, Nominet Trust has been at the forefront of funding the growth of socially motivated tech. The Impact awards demonstrates the potential of what we can all achieve together.”



Education – covering technologies that are transforming teaching and learning, in schools, universities or online. Sponsored by Barclays


  • Digital Theatre+ – the world’s leading educational platform for English and the performing arts, providing over three million students, within 1,150 schools, colleges and universities, across 65 countries, with access to 800+ performances and educational resources. @DigitalTheatre



  • Learn My Way – learning platform built by Good Things Foundation to make getting online easy.
  • YouTeachMe – enabling education professionals to create and use quality videos in their teaching.


Employment & skills – celebrating technology that is changing ways into work, and work itself, as well as initiatives to improve people’s digital skills and access to tech talent. Sponsored by BCS


  • Koru Kids – startup providing childcare solutions to working parents. It helps parents ‘nanny share’, introducing families through an online marketplace then taking care of all the paperwork like contracts, payroll, taxes, pension and payments via its platform. @korukids



  • Code Your Future – supporting and empowering asylum seekers and refugees to become software developers.
  • WhiteHat – matching non-graduate talent with apprenticeship opportunities

Health – recognising technologies that enhance healthcare knowledge and treatment, as well as helping people to lead healthier lives. Sponsored by Reason Digital


  • SH:24 – an online sexual and reproductive health service. By providing services online for free, SH:24 is able to release capacity and money in the NHS at the same time as providing people with a flexible, accessible service. @sh24_nhs


  • In Your Pocket, offering smartphone-enabled accessibility for people who are vision impaired.
  • GoodGym, supporting runners to get fit by doing good.


Sharing & communities – recognising digital products and services that help people share resources, or where collaboration enables greater community participation. Sponsored by Sharemrkt/The People Who Share


  • OLIO – free app tackling the problem of food waste by connecting neighbours with each other, and with local shops and cafes, so that surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. @OLIO_ex


  • Age UK – using digital to help scale its Call in Time telephone befriending service.
  • TalkLife: a social network providing support to young people struggling with mental health and the ups and downs of life.


Cities – digital initiatives that improve urban places and spaces, making them better places to live, work and play. Sponsored by HereEast


  • Go Jauntly – free community-based platform helping people discover and share walks near and far. Its philanthropic founders started it in 2017 through their digital product and service design consultancy, Furthermore. @gojauntly



  • The Future Fox – working to accelerate the development of smart, sustainable and people-focused cities.
  • TRIK – a mobile and web application built for insurance, engineering and construction enterprise.

Climate – helping businesses and government organisations to create more sustainable places. Sponsored by The Planet Mark


  • Switchee is the first smart thermostat for social housing. It fights fuel poverty and provides landlords with remote data insights that save energy, cut maintenance costs and improve resident well-being. @SwitcheeUK


  • Green Lab – London workspace for entrepreneurs and organisations that are designing beautiful solutions to complex food, water and waste problems.
  • Voyage Control – an air traffic control system for trucks, streamlining operations and reducing air pollution and congestion.


Smart – initiatives that use connected physical devices both at home and across towns and cities, to make urban and rural living easier, offering greater mobility and enabling people to connect more easily.


  • Alcove – internet-of-things-powered care technology business pioneering independent living for older and disabled adults. Its assistive technology ecosystem combines sensors, wearables, activity monitoring, alerting, emergency response, a communication aid and carer check-in to replace fixed-line telecare. @youralcove


  • Little Riot – makes products that close distances and keep loved ones close. It facilitates human connection where it may not otherwise be possible.
  • SteamaCo – bringing electricity to tens of thousands of previously unconnected consumers in Africa

Sustainable living – celebrating technologies that help people to live more sustainably, whether in providing higher-quality, healthier food, sourcing products with better information to hand, or in reducing waste Sponsored by Gone for Good


  • SafetyNet Technologies develops light-emitting devices to help fishing boats catch the right fish and tackle some of the biggest issues facing the commercial fishing industry. It has developed products that can lower unwanted bycatch by 90% and improve fishing revenues by up to 20%. @SNTechUK


  • Alexandra Rose Charity, on a mission to develop the ‘Rosie’ app to create digital vouchers and automate the process of voucher reimbursement to traders.
  • Arc-net – supporting producers and brand owners to provide access to safe and authentic produce through the distributed power of the blockchain.


Business transformation – entries from businesses, government agencies and non-profits, working on transformational projects to create more effective and responsive products and services, as well as more productive places to work. Sponsored by Opencast Software


  • Citizens Advice, founded in 1939, provides free, confidential and independent advice, information and support to anyone who needs it. Every year it helps millions online, over the phone and face-to-face. It has designed a case management system that is easy to use and intuitive. It wanted its Casebook system to more reflect the sort of products its volunteers may use outside of work, and be easy to use without training or specialist skills. @CitizensAdvice


  • Apolitical – an online peer-to-peer platform for sharing ideas about public services.
  • Unmind – a B2B mental health platform, providing clinically backed tools and training to create healthier, happier, more human organisations.

Financial inclusion – when it comes to impact, money doesn’t just mean business what we do with it, and how much we have, affects all of our lives. This award celebrates technologies that enhance access to financial services. Sponsored by Impact Reporting


  • LOQBOX aims to fix financial exclusion by enabling everyone to build their credit history, their financial education and their savings. Anyone using the service can build their history with the big credit reference agencies and also learn responsible financial management while they save, for free. @LOQBOX


  • AID:Tech – for-profit company with a social mission to address some the world’s largest social issues.
  • SalaryFinance – socially responsible employee benefit that helps people become more financially healthy.

Investment – recognising the best in impact funding from both public and private sources, and across traditional venture and alternative investment routes like crowdfunding. Sponsored by ClearlySo


  • Bethnal Green Ventures -an early-stage investor that helps to launch and grow tech ventures with the potential to become hugely successful businesses that positively impact millions of lives. It invests in innovative ideas in health, education, sustainability, democracy and society. It is best known for its 12-week accelerator programme, which provides investment, co-working space and intensive mentoring and support. To date, BGV has supported 95 ventures, investing £1.9m. Ventures report a combined positive impact on 18m lives. @bg_ventures


  • Nesta Impact Investments – one of the first fund managers in the UK to launch a dedicated social impact fund.
  • UnLtd – the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world.

Social and economic transformation – recognising outward-facing initiatives from business, government and non-profits that look to make a positive impact on the wider world. Sponsored by Us Ai


  • what3words – an innovative global addressing system that has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares, each with a unique address made from three dictionary words. It’s the simplest way to communicate location and provides everyone and everywhere with an accurate and reliable address. what3words uses an algorithm, and every three-word address is fixed and will never change, meaning that what3words works offline, without a data connection, making it ideal for use in remote locations. Three-word addresses can also be used in 14 languages, with many more launching in 2018. @what3words


  • The Federation – an open community of digital businesses and innovators in Manchester, built on ethical values, sponsored by the Co-op Group.
  • Yoti – a free and safe digital identity app, giving everyone a simpler, faster and safer way of proving their identity.

People’s choice – in a first for 2018, voting was opened to the public for our Impact Awards people’s choice award. With 2500 votes cast, the result was a close call with just a handful of votes between our top three. Presented by Richard Brass, Berenberg

Winner: TalkLife(11.9% of the vote) – a social network providing support to young people struggling with mental health and the ups and downs of life. It provides an engaging, intuitive peer support platform where users can talk about how they’re feeling and connect to others. Its global platform now supports hundreds of thousands of users. The company is proud of its safeguarding, research partnerships and determination to change the way the world thinks about mental health.

Runners up:

  • Go Jauntly (11.3%) – app helping people discover and share walks.
  • Code Your Future (9.5%) – coding school for refugees and other displaced people

Individual impact award – a jury award for outstanding contribution by an individual in helping to grow technology for good, through personal giving of time or money. This year celebrating an ‘unsung hero’ of tech for good. Presented by Mike Bracken, Public Digital


  • Tom Steinberg – founder of mySociety – a non-profit created to build and popularise digital tools giving citizens power over institutions and decision makers. He was its director for 12 years until 2015, running websites like, FixMyStreet and

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  • A new Nominet Trust report, Transforming Lives with Tech: A Global Conversation, demonstrates how emerging tech, including AI, Blockchain and VR, is transforming lives.
  • The report reveals key insights from five years of NT100 research, highlighting what it takes for tech ventures to deliver social impact at scale.
  • Nominet Trust starts a global conversation about tech and society, launching a new podcast series ‘Our Lives + Tech’

7th February 2018, London
– The impact of tech on our lives often comes under a harsh spotlight. However, a new report by Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading social tech investor, highlights the tech trends that are set to transform our lives for the better.

The report, Transforming Lives with Tech: A Global Conversation, was commissioned to celebrate the fifth year of NT100 – Nominet Trust’s annual campaign that champions the most inspiring examples of social tech from around the world.

Based on an analysis of 400 NT100 projects and 10 in-depth case studies, the report shares key insights into what it takes to enable social tech ventures to achieve impact at scale.

Looking to the future of social tech, the Trust reveals five emerging trends which are set to transform lives globally and showcases 10 pioneering ventures that demonstrate the transformative potential of these trends. The full report is available as a free download here.

Nominet Trust’s top five social tech trends for 2018 are:


1. Blockchain to bring inclusion to billions

The rise of this secure, decentralised and transparent system is set to continue in 2018, with socially motivated ventures harnessing its potential to improve financial systems and bring inclusion to billions of people.

Alice is using blockchain to help homeless people get off the streets of London by restoring trust in charitable giving, while BanQu is harnessing the tech to give refugees a secure and verified ID, tracking everything from transaction history to educational qualifications.

2. AI to scale up key services

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already a part of our everyday lives, from Google search rankings to iPhone’s face ID. This year AI will help us handle ever more complex data to transform how we deliver key services including healthcare and education.

Zebra is transforming disease diagnostics by using AI to scan medical images to detect cancerous cells, achieving a reported 91% accuracy. Meanwhile Wysa’s AI enabled chatbot app provides people experiencing mental health issues with advice based on established techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

3. Broadening the boundaries of bionics to deepen impact

This year, developments in neuro-tech and smart contact lenses will take bionics to a whole new level.

BrainGate has developed pill-sized electrode implants that respond to thoughts, aiming to restore a level of independence to millions of people affected by paralysis. While the Smart Lens Program is developing a contact lens that measures glucose in tear fluid creating a non-invasive solution to monitor diabetes.

4. Immersive tech to reimagine healthcare

Although most well known for their use in immersive gameplay, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have huge potential to transform our lives, from delivering healthcare to changing the way we learn, understand each other and navigate the world.

In hospitals, AccuVein is improving the accuracy of intravenous therapy with a handheld AR scanner that projects visual images of a patients’ veins onto the skin’s surface. Patient’s Virtual Guide, an AR app, has been developed to guide children through the hospital environment before they are admitted as patients, easing stress and anxiety, and improving outcomes.


5. Autonomous vehicles to accelerate access

With trials already taking place, it won’t be long before unmanned and autonomous vehicles become mainstream.

The Zanzibar Mapping Initiative uses drones to capture aerial images and topography of the island, helping to monitor and respond to floods and disease. In Canada, Cyberworks has developed a motion-sensor module that can be attached to a power wheelchair enabling it to navigate through a building autonomously, controlled by voice, eye-gaze or a touch screen.

Vicki Hearn, Director of Nominet Trust, commented: “We firmly believe that, when social needs are baked into the very early stages of tech development, the transformational effect on people’s lives is multiplied. During the five years we’ve been curating the NT100, we’ve amassed a rich bank of knowledge which we’re sharing to help accelerate the growth of socially-motivated tech around the globe.

“The insights and trends brought together in our new report aim to inspire the next generation of innovators, and to encourage those who have the resources and expertise to create an environment in which socially transformative tech can grow and scale.”

To explore the themes highlighted in Transforming Lives with Tech: A Global Conversation in greater depth, Nominet Trust launches this month a brand new podcast series, Our Lives + Tech. The series features leading voices who’ll discuss developments in social tech including big data, blockchain and bionics, and their potential to transform lives for the better.

Download the report here. Follow #NT100is5 and @nominettrust on Twitter.