School of Business and Economics


10 Dec 2015

SBE students compete at the first UK Cabinet Office Innojam

SBE Students at the Innojam event

Late last month, five students from the School of Business and Economics attended a two-day Cabinet Office Innojam event held by the SAP UK Public Sector and SAP University Alliances.

Information Management and Business Technology finalists Sally Nunekpeku and Alexander Freeman, along with second-year students Seco Niall Perry, Duong Ngoc Tu and Charlie Maunders participated in the event which saw 90 students and interns from seven University Alliances joining in.

The challenge was set by the Cabinet Office with support from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions. The aim was to examine how to bring together data from government and potentially third-party sources to assess how to build a more accurate picture of individual UK household composition (i.e., who really lives in a particular house and what constitutes a ‘household’).

This all in response to the current Government ‘s objective to reduce fraud in taxes and benefits and also reduce the estimated £650 million a year loss faced by HM government from individuals claiming benefits they aren’t entitled to and not paying taxes as they should.

The competitors were split into seven teams, with students from different universities with a mix of backgrounds which ensured broad and interactive groups. Throughout the event, senior personnel from the Cabinet Office, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the DWP were on hand to provide assistance – advising on data structures analysis processes and to give advice on the student’s ideas as they developed over the two days.

The Cabinet Office was so pleased with the enthusiasm, engagement and high standard of the results that multiple additional projects have been proposed which are being looked at over the coming weeks.

Student Charlie Maunders said:

It was a wonderful opportunity to work with a diverse set of individuals with varying specialisms. The thought-provoking issue, coupled with the exceptionally talented individuals present, led to a hotbed of innovations.

The students themselves are visiting again for ‘Phase Two’ of the project, which will involve the students getting hold of the substantial real data sets and given the opportunity to build real applications based on their ideas using SAP technology.

 Irfan Khan, Chief Technology Officer for SAP Global Customer Operations, said:

This is exactly how we should focus for the future. These students are seeing the very best of SAP, and the customers see tremendous value in their ideas, creativity and innovative thinking. Engaging young minds whilst placing the customer at the heart of what we do - a definite win-win!

To contact the Publicity Team, please ring Mrs Ondine Barry on +44 (0)1509 228849 or email