Competition winners announced

We are excited to announce the winners of our recent Technology competition where we asked how you would harness machine learning to have a truly positive effect on society.

We received many fantastic entries in both categories, well done to all who applied.

University Category


Ben Pugh

Ben Pugh


Congratulations to Ben Pugh from Kings College London who won with his idea to utilise machine learning to look for patterns in the large data sets produced by Micro CT Scanning, in order to gain a better understanding of how species of plants and animals survive.

Runner up

Ross Phillips

Ross Phillips

David Twomey

David Twomey


Andrew Mann

Congratulations to Ross Phillips, David Twomey and Andrew Mann from University College London, who impressed the judges with their idea to use machine learning in combination with a decentralised blockchain-based system to improve the reliability of energy access particularly in rural areas.

Schools Category


Katherine Aizlewood

Katherine Aizlewood


Congratulations to Katherine Aizlewood of Watford Grammar School who won with her idea to monitor and predict outbreaks of illnesses by tracking the sale of medicines and comparing these with the adequacy of medical services available in certain areas.

Runner up

Tharim Munthakim

Tharim Munthakim


Congratulations to Tharim Munthakim from Mossbourne Community Academy who impressed the judges with his idea to use Machine Learning to automate marking in schools allowing teachers more time for practical teaching.

The competition will open again for entries later this year with a brand new topic, follow us on social media for updates.

The challenge

We want to hear how you would harness machine learning to have a truly positive effect on society.

The ability to recognise patterns has been fundamental in the progression of modern civilisation: from sailors using the night sky to navigate the oceans, to scientists observing natural phenomena to construct theories of the world. With the advent of powerful computers and large datasets, these days machine learning (ML) is allowing computers to recognise patterns and learn from data like never before.

You can already see this in the world around you: online retailers suggest products you might be interested in, your phone can translate spoken words to text on the screen and cars are learning to drive themselves.

  • How would you use machine learning?
  • What business would you apply it to?
  • What new product would you create?

This year we’ve expanded the competition and encourage students aged 16+ to apply.

Whatever your idea, pitch it to us.

Whether you’re studying at uni, sixth form, college or equivalent, if you’re aged 16+ you could win a paid internship at the Bank of England, during which you will have the opportunity to increase your knowledge of ML.

What do you need to do?

We’re looking for ideas that make a positive difference to society.

Why? Our mission is to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability. The chance to contribute to society and make it better for everyone is a big reason why a role with us is so rewarding.

So tell us how you could use machine learning technology to benefit wider society. Think big. Be creative. And showcase the skills you could bring to our technology teams.

Tell us:

Your idea

Why you’ve chosen your idea and what it is in a nutshell

Technical difficulties

How you’d overcome any technical and practical difficulties

Impact of your idea

Who your idea would help and the level of impact it could have

Resources to get up and running

What resources you’d need to get it up and running

The prize

What you could win?

You’ll win a four to six-week paid internship at our Threadneedle Street office, during which you’ll get the opportunity to experience our developments in machine learning.

Before the internship begins, you will get an exclusive invitation to visit the Bank. You’ll meet some of the key people in our Technology team.

Please refer to Full terms & conditions for more information.

Bank of England building

What are we looking for?

Be creative!

Show off your technical knowledge (no matter how large or small) and prove that you’re a problem solver who can communicate ideas in a clear and interesting way.

Challenge our assumptions and show us fresh angles and perspectives. You’ll also need to demonstrate an awareness of the wider social impact of your idea, and the risks of using the technology.

You don’t need to be an expert in machine learning – it’s creativity and original ideas that count.

Creativity and originality

We’ll assess your entry on your creativity and originality, and we’ll be looking for you to demonstrate:

  • Technical knowledge
  • Analytical Problem Solving
  • Leadership and Inclusivity
  • Delivering Results
  • Clear communication skills

The entry criteria

  • Enter on your own or as a team of up to six people.
  • The competition is aimed at students aged 16+ studying in the UK. However we will consider entries from overseas.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • We must be able to open your entry on a standard Windows-build desktop.
  • Be creative with your entries, but to give you a size guide:
750 words
10 slides
2 mins
  • Upload your entry through this site by 12pm GMT on 21 November 2016.
  • Make sure your entry includes the name, phone number and email address of your main contact.
  • Download and read our Full terms & conditions - pdf file


Have something you want to ask us about the competition or what we’re looking for? Get in contact by tweeting us @BankofEngland using the hashtag #BoETechComp or emailing us at