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The DANI Awards are the Northern Ireland’s premier Digital Industry Awards, celebrating excellence within the digital sector. The DANI Awards are your opportunity to shine and demonstrate the outstanding work in your field. Now the 4th year of the event, the DANI Awards connects the Provinces digital leaders through its annual ceremony.

Any company within NI or working with an NI business, whether public, private or community and voluntary sector can enter the DANI Awards, regardless of size. The DANI Awards has a range of categories suited to a wide variety of organisations; from large private and public companies through to thriving entrepreneurial businesses, promising start-ups, social enterprises and established SMEs.



Key Dates

6th June


Harlem Cafe, Bedford St, Belfast

18th July


15th August

Shortlist Announced

19th September

Gala Evening

St Columbs Hall, Derry





  • Digital Culture (CultureTECH)

    Inheritance by Amanda Doherty

    Stravaganza NI

    Thing by Paul McNally and Engage

  • Not for Profit (Kicking Assets)

    Zambia by South West College

    Aware Defeat Depression

    NI Hospice Buy a Brick by Mammoth Digital

  • Website of the Year (IEDR)


    Equality Commission

    Consumer Council

    Digital Printing

    Todds Leap

  • Web App (CDE Catapult)

    Funeral Times by The Web Bureau

    Rushmere Shopping Centre by Ardmore

  • Viral (Love PR)

    Fred J Malcolm by Show & Tell


    Ulster Rugby by Little Giant Films

  • Mobile (Fathom)

    Danske Bank

    Get Invited by Origin Partners

    Barking Buzz by Engage

  • Social (Data Dispatch)

    Sport Changes Life by Mammoth Digital

    Total Mobile

    Your Dog Your Job by Belfast City Council

  • E-Learning (UoU)

    Big Video Challenge

    Creative Centenaries for The Nerve Centre by Whitenoise

    Adapt Learning

  • Online Strategy (Linkubator)



    Forestside Shopping Center by Ardmore

  • Gaming & Animation (Crescent Capital)

    Beep Blip Games

    Fab Lab @ The Nerve Centre

    The Ideas Factory by Whitenoise

  • Exporter (Invest NI)


    Rug House


  • Rising Star (Derry City Council)

    Flint Studios


    Firefly Friends

  • NI Digital Hero (Sync NI)

    Daryl Conway

    Betty McNerlin

    Gareth Quinn

  • Digital Agency (Irish News)


    The Web Bureau


  • Digital Person of the Year (Corvus Recruitment)

    Lousie McCartan

    Victoria Hutchinson

    Barry Adams




    Digital Culture Project of the Year

    This category focuses on interactive collections
    of life, society &
    culture online.

    This award encompasses Digital Arts, Film, TV & Music. Entries for this category should be cutting edge and trend-setting. Digital projects that feature streaming video content or information about film & TV, projects related to musicians, bands, and the music industry, as well online radio and other developments that offer streaming audio content. From traditional photography to non-traditional performances, this category focuses on interactive collections of life, society and culture online.

    Charity and Not for Profit

    Charities helping
    to raise awareness

    The Internet really can open opportunities for charities and help meet their needs; whether that’s increasing income, saving money and time or raising awareness online.

    We are looking for successful online projects and work briefed and implemented for a Not-For-Profit organisations. Please supply the registered charity number for the client within the accompanying report.

    Web application Project of the Year

    Where user experience meets good design and performance.

    We are looking for individuals and businesses that are making ambitious web applications. The app should show an increase in user engagement. It should be revolutionary, robust, rock solid and have proven results.

    Mobile development Project of the Year

    This awards focuses on mobile development, innovation and user engagement.

    Mobile technology is changing the way we live and work, this category is for organisations that have delivered innovative mobile projects that demonstrate clear business benefits. Entries should be projects and campaigns based on media and software that provides an excellent user experience specific to a mobile platform.

    E-Learning Project of the Year

    Rewarding a highly dynamic and interactive
    e-learning platform.

    From primary school learning to advanced technology-related tips, these are digital projects that help you learn. Entries for this category should include projects that inform or support target groups that may be difficult to reach using traditional methods. The submission should also include clearly identified objectives, project innovation and originality, impact of performance and market growth potential.

    Gaming & Animation Project of the Year

    Cutting edge technology and design solutions.

    This category should demonstrate examples of digital gaming and / or animation that showcases creativity, inspiration, production values, great entertainment and overall project success. Entrants in this category should demonstrate how the use of gaming and / or animation has improved their organisations bottom line and ability of a clients business or other organisation to achieve its objectives.

    Website of the Year

    Focusing on managing your online reputation, brand personality & customer conversation.

    The definition of what makes a good website depends partly on its purpose. A personal page, a company's website, and a school site all need to meet very different characteristics to be considered of quality. There is, however, some basic agreement on what constitutes a quality in a website. No matter its purpose, a site should be useful, easy to navigate, uncluttered, easy to find, and meet its purpose. Entrants should demonstrate examples of UX, good design, credible and valuable information, report on the level of traffic and user engagement.

    Viral Campaign of the Year

    Reaching the masses, possibly random, cultural and inspiring.

    A successful viral campaign has many different ingredients! However the campaign must set the digital world alight and capture the attention of brand audiences. Entries to this category should include evidence of a media plan, great content, social value, branding, engagement levels and show an increase in viewer figures.

    Best use of Social Media

    Focusing on managing your online reputation, brand personality & customer conversation.

    This category should demonstrate how the use of social media has improved the ability of a business or organisation with an online presence to achieve its objectives, by engaging with and giving value to an audience via social media channels.

    Online Strategy of the Year

    Online strategy which encompasses all of the online marketing channels.

    The successful online strategy of the year should not only improve but significantly boost your presence online. We understand that an online strategy is one, which encompasses all of the online marketing channels in use within your business.

    Driven by return on investment we want to see results from all channels used and provide how they are aligned with your business objectives.

    Exporter of the Year

    Generating business in new geo-locations and increasing your bottom line!

    We're looking for a business with credible development plans in place to build on their current exporting success. The company will be gaining new customers and market share by pairing a successful sales plan with a great product or service. They need to demonstrate a winning market proposition with a focused approach with the ability to demonstrate their growth plan. What has made them especially successful in 2013 / 2014?

    Entry should include a brief introduction to the Business, a plan of attack, current market reach and expansion plans.

    Rising Star of the Year

    Flourishing ideas that can become a product or service and compete in the market.

    The Rising Star awards will be a company with an exciting vision for the future that has demonstrable credibility in terms of team, industry experience, and financing commitments. As a rising star, their company's rate of expansion in recent years is an important factor and it will be judged against the demanding criteria that exist for its peers.

    All areas of within the Digital Industries are eligible for this award. The entry for this category should include a brief overview of the business, its growth plans, what makes them stand out from their competitors and their vision for the future.

    Northern Irelands Digital Hero

    Inspiring others through technology to bring about positive social change.

    NI’s Digital Hero is someone who has harnessed technology to bring about positive social change. We are looking for someone who has sacrificed their time to inspire and assist others get online. It’s to celebrate both the people whose lives have been changed for the better by digital and those individuals from a community or charity who have shared their online skills with others.

    Digital Agency of the Year

    Honouring the best in creativity, technological innovation and campaign delivery.

    This award will be given to the agency (creative, media or technical) that has consistently delivered the most creative, effective and innovative work for its clients in the last year.

    Digital Industries Person of the Year

    Dedicated to their industry sector, forward thinking and proactive.

    We're looking for an inspirational Person of the Year. Someone motivated and determined. A person with vision, flair and confidence. The Person of the Year will be successful in Digital Industries.

    The Person of the Year will be successful in Digital Industries. The nominations should include evidence of the contribution to the Digital Industries sector, with some evidence of their work. However they do it, they inspire people around them. What have they done in 2013 / 2014 that sets them apart from their peers?

    Your time to shine



    Judging Process


    The entries to The DANI Awards are inspected by our panel of judges who rate each entry according to the judging criteria of the category. The entries that are rated highest are then included in the category shortlists.

    Selecting Nominees

    The shortlists are whittled down to a maximum of 5 Nominees per category, based on a closed ballot of each category. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of the Judging panel will cast the tie-breaking vote. Judges may not vote in any category in which they have a direct conflict of interest.

    Selecting Winners

    In the majority of cases the winner of each category will be the Nominee that receives the most votes in a closed ballot. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of the Judging Panel will cast the tie-breaking vote. Once the winner has been selected, members of the Judging Panel will be asked to approve the selection. If over 50% of the Judging Panel reject the selection the ballot will be recast.


    All award entries are treated with the highest of confidence. Judges may not vote for an entry in which they have a conflict of interest (where this occurs the Judge will be asked to leave the panel at that stage).

    DANI AWARDS 2013

    The Judges

    Our expert panel of judges have been selected to reflect specific areas of expertise
    and excel in their own field within the Digital Industries.
    Between them they have countless years of experience working at the coal face and
    understand that for businesses to succeed online they have to strive for excellence every step of the way.

    Chris Love

    Chris Love established Love PR after working with various luxury brands.

    Chris Love established Love PR in June 2006 after gaining considerable experience working with established luxury brands Amanda Wakeley and Versace and celebrity chef duo Paul and Jeanne Rankin.

    Love PR has handled PR for Coca-Cola, House of Fraser, Gordons Chemists, The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Mourne Seafood Bar, Home Restaurant, Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, Polo in the City, Mencap, Northern Ireland Water and most recently for the funeral of The Lord Ballyedmond of Norbrook Laboratories.

    Chris is Northern Ireland Chair of The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and sits on the UK Council of CIPR that governs the PR industry.

    Chris won Outstanding Freelance Practitioner at the 2013 CIPR NI PRide Awards.

    Timothy Brundle

    Timothy Brundle has fifteen years experience in the successful commercialisation of technology and in business & economic development.

    Timothy has worked throughout his career in research-rich organisations, with a focus on developing their customer-orientation, economic impact, business outcomes and stakeholder value. He is an experienced and skilled Chairman of both young companies and mature public Institutions.

    Timothy Brundle is Director of Research & Innovation at the University of Ulster. Timothy leads Ulster’s research strategy, policy, governance and development and is responsible for the University’s commercial output including consultancy, knowledge transfer, intellectual property licensing, technology commercialisation and establishment of spin out companies. In addition he is the CEO of Innovation Ulster Ltd, the University of Ulster’s venturing and investment company, and has led the establishment of more than 35 high potential start up companies, successfully negotiated more than 40 high value IP licence agreements, secured over £380m of Venture Capital, managed a profitable seed investment fund and ensured investor value from company acquisitions and an Initial Public Offering.

    Anthony Quigley

    Anthony Quigley is a leading digital marketer and expert in all things digital.

    As Director and Co-Founder of the Digital Marketing Institute, Ireland's leading professional certification standard for digital marketing education, Anthony is considered one of the pioneers of digital marketing in Ireland.

    Outside his role with the Digital Marketing Institute Anthony advises and mentors organisations on how to plan and implement digital marketing campaigns, using online technologies as part of their business growth.

    As an entrepreneur he has created, developed and sold a number of successful ventures. Prior to launching the Digital Marketing Institute, Anthony founded or held director level positions in eWare, iQuate, Microsoft, Net Results and Web Kitchen among other businesses.

    Connor Doherty

    Marketing and Partnerships manager with the CultureTECH festival.

    Connor Doherty is the Marketing and Partnerships manager with the CultureTECH festival. CultureTECH is Northern Ireland’s largest digital gathering, which takes place between September 15th and 21st. Now in it’s third year, the festival features 7 conferences, gigs, workshops, cinema screenings, and loads of fun times. When not helping putting this together, Connor balances a keen interest in social media and startup companies with a keen interest in moaning over a cup of green tea.

    Gareth Dunlop

    Founder of Fathom, writer & lecturer of Internet related matters, Gareth is a judge of the Eircom Spider Awards, and DANI Awards.

    Following 15 years of direct commercial experience helping businesses use the Internet more effectively, Gareth established Fathom in September 2011 to advise companies on how to get the most from the Internet by seeing the world from the perspective of their customers.

    Previously Gareth was the MD of iON, a leading digital strategy and marketing company, headquartered in Belfast and with major clients in 15 countries. Prior to that he was the MD of Tibus, one of the largest and most successful web development agencies in Ireland, from 2002 to 2009 when it was sold to UTV Media. Since 1996, he has gained massive commercial experience advising blue chip clients in Ireland, UK and Europe (SPAR, DHL, Post Office UK, BBC) on Internet strategy and best practice.

    A former Board Member of the Irish Internet Association, and Chairman of, Gareth writes & lectures extensively on Internet related matters. He occupies regular columns in and the Irish Independent in the Republic of Ireland, and Business Eye magazine in Northern Ireland.

    Mary McKenna

    Mary is a tech entrepreneur and co-founder of successful Derry based Learning Pool.

    Mary McKenna is a Northern Irish technology entrepreneur and now angel investor. She co-founded and recently exited successful Derry based Learning Pool, a multi award winning company with the biggest online learning community in the UK (over one million learners at the latest count). She has been Chairman of Northern Ireland’s Digital Circle since 2010, representing the digital content industry fuelling economic recovery. Outside work Mary has a passionate interest in helping start & grow indigenous Irish tech companies and especially in working with very young entrepreneurs.

    Mary is a strong supporter of the Arts in Ireland and sits as a non executive director on the board of Derry’s Millennium Forum & Theatre. She is also a trustee of the London based charity, Social Care Institute for Excellence. In the recent New Year’s Honours Mary was awarded the MBE for services to digital technology, innovation and learning.

    Rick McKee

    Rick has over 15 years experience of leading the development and growth of one of the most successful digital agencies on the island of Ireland.

    He led the commercial operations of the agency Tibus, with P&L responsibility, from its establishment in the early days of the Internet in 1996 through the ongoing transformation of the business, in a rapidly maturing market, into a modern, creative, technically-driven, highly innovative and consistently profitable digital agency, which was acquired by UTV Media plc in 2008. Rick has significant experience in start-up and growth scenarios and in working successfully to lead and maximise the effectiveness of diverse teams in a service environment; also in meeting the cultural and operational challenges presented by company mergers and acquisitions. Since January 2014, Rick now applies this experience in management consultancy Linkubator.

    Deirdre Heenan

    A distinguished researcher, author and broadcaster, she is a member of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences.

    Formerly Provost and Dean of Academic Development at the Magee Campus, Professor Deirdre Heenan was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Communication) and Provost (Coleraine and Magee) as of 1 September 2012. A distinguished researcher, author and broadcaster, she is a member of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences and has published widely on healthcare, education policy, social care and devolution. She is a co-founder and former co-director of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.

    In 2001 she was the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award and this was followed by a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy in 2006. In 2008 she secured an ESRC fellowship and spent nine months as policy adviser in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. In 2011 she was appointed by the health minister to join a five strong panel of experts to oversee a radical review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. In 2012 she was appointed to the Irish President's Council of State as one of the seven personal nominees of President Michael D Higgins.

    She is a director of ILEX, the Derry~Londonderry urban regeneration company and a school governor in two schools in the city: Foyle College and St Patrick's, Pennyburn.

    Ian Weatherup

    Traditional Recruiter transformed into Social Recruiter.

    Ian began working with the tech community in 1998 when he set up the first IT recruitment company in NI and has been closely involved with it ever since. His business works with a number of digital marketing companies in NI and he has a passion for Social Media and how it can change the way the world recruits!

    Your time to shine


    of DANI AWARDS 2014

    Rewarding the Best


    DANI AWARDS 2014

    September 19th 2014
    St. Columbs Hall, Derry

    Phone: (028) 8775 9784


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