Dublin’s Smart City Regional Approach
Launched in March 2016, Smart Dublin is an initiative from the four Dublin local authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve challenges and improve city region life. It is a collaboration framework to ensure that Dublin is able to take advantage of positive trends in technology.
The four Dublin local authorities developed a regional open data portal, Dublinked, however there was no formal vehicle to collaborate in other Smart city projects. Smart Dublin was launched out of a desire to grow initial collaborations, join resources and share best practice, making the most of technology advancements.
• Provide better services
• Promote innovative solutions
• Improve economic activity
• Increase collaboration and engagement between local authorities, other public sector organisations, academia, external agencies, businesses, citizens and international partners
In 2011, the four Dublin local authorities, IBM and Maynooth University partnered to build Dublinked, a regional open data portal. Smart Dublin was launched in 2015 to build on this, extend the remit to Smart city projects, and maximise resources and sharing of best practice.
Smart Dublin is run by a regional team and governed by a steering committee formed by a chair, two representatives from each local authority, SmartDublin and Maynooth University. Smart Dublin has also formed an advisory network, made up of research partners and representatives from both the private and public sector. This group offers independent expert leadership and advice.
The Smart Dublin team organised workshops with over 100 operational staff to identify priority areas in the following areas: transport networks and mobility, responses to extreme weather events(with an emphasis on flooding), environment and public realm, energy and public realm, citizen engagement and driving efficiencies in service delivery.
Smart Dublin is on its second year and continues to grow. The main elements contributing to its success are:
• Buy-in from management. Also from staff willing to invest their time to make ideas become real projects.
• Dublin has an amazing ecosystem of world leading tech companies, a vibrant digital start-up scene, highly innovative SME’s, world-class research clusters and tech aware citizens. The area is big enough and small enough to be the ideal location to test and pilot new services and solutions.
• Smart Dublin’s Regional Steering Committee
• Smart Dublin’s Advisory Board
• Enterprise Ireland, which manages Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research programme (SBIR).
• Private companies and SMEs.
• Universities and research centres
Challenges & solutions
• Internal barriers such as organisational culture, a silo approach to working and lack of information about Smart city projects’ potential to solve challenges.
• Current procurement processes tend to lack agility and flexibility; they are not designed to make the most of technological advancements.
• A need to fill the skills gap in data management skills and to manage data safety and security
• A robust measurement system to demonstrate progress.
Smart Dublin has executive back up and the support of an expanding network.
Finding new ways of engaging with small companies and start-ups to work on projects have been one of the highlights. Processes like Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), technical dialogue and open challenges have given the opportunity of looking for innovative solutions while complying
with public procurement rules
Collaboration with other cities to learn from best practice and share resources, with the private sector, with start-ups that may hold the key to the most disruptive technology and with expertise from research centres.
Collaboration with experts we can draw upon to advise us in terms of data safety and security.
2017 has been a year of consolidation: a formal engagement process for companies was put in place and partnerships were established with CONNECT (the Science Foundation IrelandResearch Centre for Future Networks and Communications, at Trinity College Dublin),Vodafone, AT&T and MasterCard. Three SBIR competitions were launched and five new SBIR applications have been successful will launch
in spring 2018.
Smart Dublin have organised and participated in over 35 events to an audience of 4,500people, contributing to the development of a strong network and the brand.
The amalgamation of open data Dublinked into the Smart Dublin website is complete. A review of existing data and the publication of new datasets across the four Dublin local authorities continues.
Smart Dublin was nominated for the Smart City of the Year Award at the Smart City Expo and
World Congress in Barcelona.
Name: Jamie Cudden
Name: Zaira Rivera