- Diverse range of projects aim to use new technologies to solve rural problems and deliver real benefits to communities
- Special Defibrillator App, Inflatable Cinema Screens, Smart Beaches, Wifi Hotspots, Tourism Apps, Smart Farming and Air Quality Monitoring among successful projects
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D. today (Thursday, 19 August), announced €1.2million in funding for 20 projects under the Our Rural Future Digital Innovation Programme. The programme funds Local Authority-led innovation projects that provide a public benefit and support regional digital development.
As part of the competitive application process, a wide range of innovative proposals were received from Local Authorities. Some of the projects which have now been selected for funding include:
- Ring Buoy Project (Sligo as the lead partner)
Ring buoys are present at many of our beaches and inland waterways and are life-saving equipment. This project will see ring buoys fitted with sensors that can remotely notify council staff if a ring buoy is due to be inspected / repaired, or if a ring buoy is missing from its station. This will speed up replacements and will save lives, work hours and money.
- Defibrillator Locator App – Roscommon
Roscommon County Council will develop a Defibrillator Location App. This will enable members of the public in Roscommon to immediately locate the defibrillator which is nearest to them saving precious time in the event of a cardiac arrest. This App has the potential to be scaled nationally.
- Outdoor Inflatable Screens – Monaghan
Monaghan County Council will trial inflatable outdoor screens to see how effective they are at delivering important information to the public. The screens will be made available for use by local organisations including Clones Film Society, Foróige, Primary Schools and other local organisations.
- RAPIDS – Limerick
The aim of the project is to develop technology to improve the identification of potholes and the quality of road surface on Limerick’s roads; proactively identifying potholes earlier will reduce road maintenance costs and lower the carbon footprint of roads maintenance, thereby improving public safety and value for money.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:
“The Digital Innovation Programme is designed to encourage innovation and collaboration, and to help us to work smarter in supporting rural Ireland. The range of projects approved today showcase the imagination, energy and expertise that exists in rural Ireland.
“People who live in rural Ireland are nothing if not innovative. In recent years we have seen drones delivering medicine to our Island communities. This small scheme is all about giving rural communities the opportunity to trial new technologies which will solve local problems. If it works for one community, it can work for others and we can then look at replicating these models in other areas.
“I look forward to seeing these projects delivering clear benefits to rural communities over the coming months.”
Full details with detailed descriptions on all 20 successful projects is available on gov.ie.
The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office
076-1006843 / 087-1734633
The Digital Innovation Programme is an initiative of the Department of Rural and Community Development. It is designed to encourage local authority led projects that support digital development. These projects must promote, support, or otherwise advance at least one of the seven pillars of digital maturity:
- Digital Skills
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Digital Economy & Employment
- Digital Services
- Community & Culture
- Digital Transition
Projects that cut across more than one of the pillars are particularly welcome, as are projects that demonstrate significant collaboration.
These projects will provide innovative digital solutions to issues, or identify solutions to digital issues and should be scalable and replicable by other local authorities.
This year there were two application streams:
These projects include trialling of entirely new technologies or innovative uses of existing technologies. The maximum award in this stream is €75,000.
These projects will scale-up an already proven technology or initiative. For example, a project that has only been trialled at a municipal level in Ireland could be scaled-up to county level, or county level to national level. Alternatively, a project that sought to benefit a particular cohort within society or address a specific challenge could be broadened to include additional cohorts / challenges. The maximum award under this stream is €200,000.
|County||Project Title||Stream||Funding Requested|
|Monaghan||Outdoor Inflatable Screens||Innovation||€1,500|
|Donegal||Climate Change Recording||Innovation||€12,800|
|Offaly||Water Flow/Level Recording||Innovation||€14,268|
|Sligo||Ring Buoy Theft Prevention||Scaling||€120,000|
|Tipperary||Shared Telecoms Infrastructure||Innovation||€48,000|
|Roscommon||Defib Locator App||Innovation||€17,400|
|Kerry||Smart Park Kerry||Scaling||€76,800|
|Kerry||Atlantic Discover Platform||Scaling||€200,000|
|Wexford||Town of Things||Innovation||€73,200|
|Tipperary||Smart Skills for Farming Communities||Innovation||€24,000|
|Meath||Air Quality Monitoring||Scaling||€163,518|
|Longford||Longford Text Alert||Innovation||€14,000|
Details on each project can be found on gov.ie.