Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland have announced the 16 winners of the New Small Business Innovation Research Competition, which are collectively worth €200k.
Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland are serious about supporting entrepreneurs to solve city challenges and are delivering one of the largest smart city innovation programmes globally. Solutions will be tested to address illegal dumping, to monitor and predict blocked gullies in high risk flooding areas and to design innovative wayfinding solutions across the Dublin region. This programme is being delivered through Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research programme (SBIR) and is also a key action in the Dublin Action Plan for Jobs.
Philomena Poole, Chief Executive of dlr and Chair of Smart Dublin commented: “This is an outstanding project and highlights the benefits of Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland working together and the potential that this collaboration can realise. The challenges facing cities are immense and we look forward to working with the successful companies in finding solutions to address these challenges. We will support them to build new products and services pushing the realms of innovation and the job opportunities that this in turn will generate”.
The challenges announced last May generated almost 200 expressions of interest with 40 proposals submitted and evaluated by industry, academic and city experts. Of those, 16 have been awarded phase 1 funding of circa €12,500k alongside supports from Smart Dublin to research and demonstrate the viability of their solution before the end of 2017. Following this, a number of phase 2 contracts worth €25k-€50k each will be awarded to prototype the solutions in the city.
Jamie Cudden, Smart City Programme Manager, Dublin City Council commented: “We are delighted with the quality and diversity of solutions proposed by the companies with a diverse mix of skillsets includes data analysts, engineers and software developers. The solutions proposed include the testing of drones and the building of low cost smart camera solutions to deter illegal dumping. A number of companies are also exploring the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to support the local authorities in solving these challenges”.
Maria Gavin, Enterprise Ireland said: “Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) is recognised internationally as a proven approach that works for both public bodies and companies. It facilitates SMEs with early stage ideas to access public sector procurement opportunities. I commend Smart Dublin for expanding their programme to take in 3 challenges and 16 new companies. This new fund has the potential to create in-demand technologies and innovations which can be adopted quickly to make positive and significant societal impacts.”