Recognising the potential of Balbriggan as a Smart Technology testbed, CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks hosted at Trinity College Dublin, with Fingal County Council (FCC) have launched ‘Smart Balbriggan’.
As one of the youngest towns in Ireland with an average age of 30, combined with the fact that 28% of residents are born outside of Ireland, Smart Balbriggan provides unique opportunities for Balbriggan to innovate with diversity and youth at the forefront of the town’s evolution.
Professor Dan Kilper, CONNECT Director and Professor of Future Communication Networks in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, said, “at CONNECT, we are designing community responsive networks to meet the needs of a diverse range of stakeholders. This partnership with Fingal County Council in the Smart Balbriggan project brings this area of research and innovation beyond the urban environment into the rural community.”
With a focus on collaboration and a diverse range of partners, the Smart Balbriggan team brings the citizens, the city, the innovators, and the universities together to solve the unique challenges in the Balbriggan ecosystem. They also facilitate the deployment of prototypes of these solutions, ensuring that solutions emerge from citizen experience, are understood through CONNECT research, developed with innovators, and deployed by Fingal County Council.
Aishling Hyland, Digital Programme Officer of Fingal County Council, said, “we are delighted to be partnering with CONNECT, a cutting edge SFI research centre, building upon our Fingal Digital Strategy along with engaging with the community in Smart Town development.”
The programme unites SME’s, residents, community groups and local government officials who are facing challenges, with organisations who believe they can solve these challenges to improve the lives of the local population. The Smart Balbriggan initiative connects these groups so that they can come up with innovative solutions, test them and improve them collaboratively.
Eamonn Donlyn, Smart Balbriggan Programme Manager, said, “one of the most important aspects to developing a smart place is to work together across imaginary boundaries. The majority of solutions revolve around how we transport ourselves and the use of resources such as energy, food and water, which need to be designed at a local level.”
Smart Balbriggan showcases what can happen when a unique town develops a level of engagement between the community and public bodies that is collaborative, to help make a significant jump in the quality of life for all the people of the area.
Source: Fingal County Council