Cork steps up smart region plans

Cork Smart Gateway
John Forde and Ruth Buckley, Cork City Council, with Donal O'Sullivan, TYCO and Claire Davis, Cork Smart Gateway

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5 May 2016 | 0

Creating a “smarter region” is the focus of a new collaborative initiative, Cork Smart Gateway, which launched this week. The aim of the Gateway is to develop the region as an attractive place to live, work and visit using technology to drive economic growth, improve public services and promote better engagement between residents, visitors and local authorities.

Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute are the founding members of Cork Smart Gateway, and the collaboration aims to improve the quality of life for citizens of Cork city and county through the deployment of smart solutions to solve regional challenges.

Cork Smart Gateway Chairperson Ruth Buckley said: “Working together with a shared vision of a Smart Region, the opportunity for Cork Smart Gateway to identify challenges faced by citizens in the Cork region and address these areas through technology, data analytics and the convergence of the Internet of Things is immense.

“There is an opportunity to bring about real improvements in the lives of citizens living in the Cork region through innovation and collaboration in areas such as traffic management and transport, environmental detection including flooding as well as energy and waste management to mention just a few key areas.”

Citing the Irish Government’s Getting Smarter about Smart Cities report published in January 2016, Cork Smart Gateway programme manager Claire Davis said: “A smart region is one that utilises e-government, publishes open data and fosters an open data economy, creates citizen-centric dashboards, encourages citizen participation, enables urban testbedding, actively nurtures start-up companies and accelerator programmes, promotes the use of ICT in education programmes, and actively leverages the technologies and data to create new synergies, especially cross-sectoral approaches that break down departmental silos.

“The Cork Smart Gateway initiative would undoubtedly enhance the lives of citizens and visitors in Cork, through a smart approach to living, working and participating in the Cork region.”

Projects already in operation across the Cork region include a flood detection system in Bandon which uses tactically located sensors to gauge rising water levels; Cork’s local authorities e-government initiatives; the LED Lighting replacement scheme on islands off the Cork coast; and a cloud energy management system which will deliver significant savings while reducing energy usage.

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