Digital Dublin Blog

Dublin City Council (DCC) is embracing innovative technologies which will boost job creation and enhance living conditions, according to the vice-president of Intel Labs and  Director of Intel Labs Europe.

Martin Curley has acknowledged Dublin City Council’s role in various collaborations with Intel Labs, academic researchers and the public as part of the city’s Digital Masterplan, designed to secure future sustainability.

Intel Labs is playing an instrumental role in that digital innovation drive, notably through the CityWatch scheme which was recently piloted in Dublin. CityWatch
works, Curley explains, in “parallel with an ambient intelligence system” where people using smart phones or i-Pads can pick up signals and information from existing ambient sensors.
This information can then be relayed to the city manager, offering important and useful feeds on environmental conditions, traffic issues, flooding and even crime.
Dublin is very much to the forefront of this technological movement. “There is a big opportunity to make Dublin a test centre for future technologies and create jobs,” Curley states.



It is hoped that when these designs are fully developed and tested that they can be transferred and exported to other cities around the world.The collaboration between DCC, Intel Labs, Trinity College and the citizens of the city is a model referred to as the ‘quadruple helix’ by Curley. However, he’s quick to point out that it’s not a stuffy concept but a very simple ideal.

“This is a collective and collaborative  intelligence gathering of all the citizens of the city, both to respond to scenarios where we might have an emergency, or it can actually be used just to collect information to make Dublin a better place to live in. “For example, if someone notices and wants to tag a nice environmental resource that somebody else may be interested in, it gives real-time intelligence to people in Dublin City Council. This is getting quite a bit of interest internationally.

“At a recent conference in San Francisco the Intel President Renee James spoke about CityWatch and many of them are going on in other cities around the world. But Dublin is one of the cities getting a global profile as a leader.”

At a demonstration in the Mansion House, it was shown how water poured into a drain fitted with a float sensor would, when the threshold was reached, set off an alarm on the city manager’s computer or mobile device and indicate the flood location. Blinking traffic signals would then be activated, advising motorists to avoid the hazard. From their phones, citizens will be able to report similar concerns, like traffic delays or high air pollution or noise levels.

While Intel has already developed ambient sensors around the city, which records
everything from temperature to air quality to humidity all through the week, there is a
strong reliance on public involvement. The early indications are positive, Curley says.
“I think the mindset in Dublin is very advanced and that is most important. The
technology will come when ready but the mindset has to be there too to make it work.
The citizens are showing they want to adopt the technology and it is all about adoption.
“Dublin is in a nice position to move ahead and it’s poised to become a global
leader. Because it is smaller, we can do things faster. I think this idea of quadruple helix
works very well.”
There are 100 pilot users of the CityWatch scheme and there will be an in-built incentive
for regular users. “We have a bonus points system so that the more you use it, the more
points you get,” says Curley. He adds that  they are trying to develop it as a “win-win” solution.

The early evidence is that people are embracing it; results from their initial tests
show a usage rate of more than 50 per cent on a frequent basis. “This quite surprising as
very often with tests like this, you can get as low as ten per cent. One of the apps we
are considering would be to monitor crime patterns, where users would warn other
citizens: here is a crime spot. Gardaf and the DCC can get involved. I would certainly
value that.”

Curley says people are aware of the importance of looking at innovative ideas to
make cities work better and cope with future challenges. “People are more conscious that
we need to do things more sustainably. We presented solutions that are better and more
resource-efficient. And people feel they want to share and have a say in that future. By
working together we can create and drive structural improvements far beyond what we
can do on our own.
“It is about establishing a shared vision and creating a shared value, which is
a concept that is starting to have wider appreciation, that business can be profitable
and do some good at the same time. We helped run a conference in the Mansion
House to showcase how Dublin might look in the future and how technology could
change our lives.
“One thing that came out of it was that we had a couple of thousand Dubliners
come through and we asked them ‘do you think Dublin should be a test bed for future technologies’ and ‘would you be willing to participate in that’ and the response was very interesting; 96.2 per cent of Dubliners said yes, typically you might expect 10-12 per cent.”


Read how Guadalajara City, Mexico, Digital Twin city of Dublin, is fast becoming a Smart City powerhouse…..


Mexico’s second-most-populous city is a high-tech powerhouse. Guadalajara, capital of the state of Jalisco, is home to more than 100 software companies and manufacturers, including Foxconn, Intel, Jabil, Oracle, SCI Systems, and Tata. Known as the country’s Silicon Valley, the city is dotted with more than 20 corporate campuses. And the area’s talent pool is young: The average age is 24. Guadalajara also has a strong education element: More than 20 universities offer engineering and IT courses. According to the American Chamber of Commerce Mexico, more than 7000 students graduated with degrees in engineering in 2012, the most recent figure available.


Fifth Digital Leadership Forum 19 Sept 2013

Well we’re back in action.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Óisin Quinn, today welcomed the fifth Digital Leadership Forum to the Mansion House.
The agenda was simple  – how to move on, following the launch of the Digital Masterplan, and begin to realise the action contained therein.
It had been decided to pre-select a number of actions from which the members of the Leadership Forum would select five actions that they considered as being most important to the economy of the city and also identify actions that they were willing to lead on or participate in.

The following actions were presented to the audience for discussion / vote:
1. The Dublin Storefront
2. Fibre to every Home
3. Digital Accelerator District
4. Maximising Local Supply Chains to MNC’s
5. Digital Sister Cities Virtual Network
6. Dedicated programme to expand digital co-creation, e.g. Code for Dublin, CoderDojo
7. Unified City Region Portal
8. Support for Digital and Creative initiatives, e.g. Fusion
9. Expand and Develop Big Data through Dublinked
10. Dublin Public Wireless Broadband – Mesh the City
11. Dublin as Investment and Start-up location promotional programme
12. Attracting events and conferences and leading missions
13. Beta and Prototyping Office

With the proposed actions introduced the floor was opened for discussion and an enthusiastic audience had lots to say on how we might proceed.

Fibre to the home: Martin Curley advised that there would be an exciting announcement in next few weeks re a joint initiative between INTEL and TCD who have developed a new disruptive technology.

The Dublin Storefront: Joan Mulvihill advised that she is now ‘warming’to the concept (Thanks Joan 🙂 ) although suggests the concept needs to be more clearly defined. She suggested that only businesses who have already developed an online eCommerce solution should be permitted to join the storefront, and thus ensuring that these businesses have already gained the necessary skills to operate an online store. The net effect would see the storefront as a marketing tool showcasing eCommerce in Dublin.
Joan spoke of the IIA’s involvement in the eCommerce initiative Clicktailing

Accelerator District: Suggestions were that there are already such ‘districts’ in the city (eg The Digital Hub, Dogpatch etc) and Ben Hurley advised that any such ‘district’ needs to be a CITY wide district. (ie the city is the district)
It was also suggested that this action be combined with action 11 Dublin as Investment and Start-up location promotional programme as these actions are complimentary.
Edel Flynn pointed out that the biggest issue currently was the availability of grade A office space for tech industries and indicated that this is somewhere that City Council could assist?

As regards Maximising Local Supply Chain to MNC’s Michael O’Connor from Siemens stated ‘We’re here, we started in Abbey Street in 1925, we spend in the region of €130 million on our supply chain in Ireland, simply tell us what you want us to do’ – much appreciated input Michael! It was also suggested that new MNCs entering the economy should be more ‘connected in’ with the local supply chain to ensure they are less ‘mobile’.

The Digital Maturity Model came in for mention with Naoise Ó’Muiri suggesting that Dublin should aim to increase it’s Maturity score by a single unit within two years using the results thus far to target funding from horizon 2020. Milestones need to be set to achieve this score increase.

Martin Curley advised that Intel would again be hosting Open Innovation 2.0 in Dublin in June 2014 and that this would be Europe’s biggest innovation event next year – exciting times for the city. Martin suggested that instead of Dublin being renowned for such things as Guinness, it could be renowned as the ‘Innovation capital’…

On the subject of Dublin proclaiming itself as the innovation capital of Europe, Ben Hurley advised caution and that credibility was required for such a claim.

Shane Waring and Deirdre Ni Raghallaigh spoke of the pro-typing / beta action. Shane suggested that any chosen actions should be the most flexible and capable of being changed and also the ones we could learn most from. There is a core issue with ‘commercial’ testing / piloting that all need to be wary of – this is not an issue with testing of arts or cultural projects.

Following this robust discussion a vote was taken on which of the 13 proposed actions should be initially brought forward.

This vote resulted in the following five actions chosen:

1. Digital Accelerator District
2. Maximising Local Supply Chains to MNC’s
3. Fibre to every Home
4. The Dublin Storefront
5. Expand and Develop Big Data through Dublinked

These five actions will now be brought forward as a matter of urgency.
Working / action groups will be established for each action with 2/3 weeks.


We are now seeking expressions of interest from organisations / individuals that might assist in realising these actions.