Smart Dublin Launches Five Innovation Challenges

Smart Dublin, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, launched today five Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competitions with €800k in funding. The announcement was made today at the LexIcon, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’s smart library.

The new competitions aim to find low cost, innovative solutions to encourage engagement of the ‘unheard voices’ in decision-making; to address identification and communication of bathing water quality; to test shared and sustainable workplace mobility options for staff; to facilitate connections over an IoT radio frequency mesh network; and to optimise last mile delivery in urban centres.

Philomena Poole, Chief Executive of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said “This is an excellent opportunity for small and emerging companies to get involved in demand led projects through the development of innovative solutions and technologies to address future challenges that impact on the quality of peoples’ lives”.

Successful applicants will be selected by an open competition process run in two phases (feasibility and prototyping). It is open to anyone with an idea or solution, including organisations of all sizes, tech developers, solution and service providers, universities and entrepreneurs. This competition follows on from the success of four previous SBIR competitions launched by Smart Dublin in 2016 and 2017.

Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Global Business Development, Enterprise Ireland said: “SBIR is an Enterprise Ireland initiative which gives a platform to SMEs with innovative ideas to actively tackle societal needs and challenges through strategic collaborations with public bodies. This is done through competitive challenges and the five challenges being launched today target important and diverse issues in areas from the environment to the workplace. I look forward to seeing the solutions harnessed from these challenges which have the potential to make positive impacts both here in Ireland and around the globe.”

The Challenges:

Bathing Water Quality

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Waterford City and County Council seek low cost, innovative, technological solutions in the form of products, services, or applications to address timely identification and communication of bathing water quality.

Internet of Things

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council seeks solutions to facilitate connections over an IoT radio frequency mesh network.

Smart Mobility Hub

Dublin City Council and SEAI seek to provide alternative, cleaner and more sustainable transportation options in both their daily commute and work day commitments through a smart mobility hub.

Last Mile Delivery 

Dublin City council and Belfast City Council seek smart, low cost solutions to optimise freight and cargo deliveries in urban centres.

Unheard Voices

Fingal County Council and Cork City Council seek smart, low cost solutions to encourage engagement of the ‘unheard voices’ in decision-making about the future of their place.

Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative aims to create partnerships between SMEs and public bodies to develop innovative solutions to public needs through competitive challenges. These challenges are co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and the relevant public-sector body. Since the first challenges were launched in 2016, the initiative has been gaining traction – 10 challenges are currently running across contracting authorities nationally, with 11 new challenges launching in 2018.

See for further information.

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