by Tom McCullough
LIMERICK’S unrivalled level of collaboration can help all sectors benefit from the digital transformation, the inaugural Limerick Innovation Virtual Event (LIVE) has heard.
Addressing the two-day event at UL’s Science Foundation Ireland CONFIRM centre in Castletroy, Mayor Daniel Butler said that one of the biggest challenges presented by the digital transformation is making sure it doesn’t leave people behind.
However, he was confident that the unique spirit of collaboration embracing the public, private and community sectors, would give Limerick a distinctive edge.
“Limerick is a success story in innovation and digital transformation because of the level of collaboration. We have so many of the key partners at the table here in Limerick; the local authority, the education institutions, private sector, civic organisations, all buying into ‘digital Limerick’”, Mayor Butler explained
Described as the ‘Toy Show of Tech’ in the Mid West, the event, held under the auspices of Limerick’s ‘Smart City’ programme, saw a gathering of key collaborators in the success story that is innovation in Limerick.
‘LIVE’ is part of Limerick City and County Council’s ‘Smart Limerick’ programme part-funded under the European Union’s Urbact ‘Find Your Greatness’ project which aims to foster sustainable integrated urban development in cities across Europe.
The two-day event included an overview of Smart Limerick’s journey, a presentation of the success story that ‘Film in Limerick’ has become and a panel discussion on how the digital transformation is going to play a key role in the revitalisation of Limerick’s city centre.
It also had Limerick’s first ever drone lunch-drop, as well as sessions on digital transformation and education along with the need to develop a future-proofed talent supply-chain that ensures the smart sustainable city and innovation momentum is maintained.
There were presentations from both UL and TUS on their innovation enterprises, while the Limerick Makers Club also outlined its activities and issued an open invitation to other ‘makers’ to join the growing innovation movement.
There were also sessions this morning that involved the launch of the All-Ireland Smart Cities strategy as well as research on Digital Inclusion in Limerick, as well as presentations from Limerick based multi-nationals Dell and Analog Devices.
UL President Kerstin Mey said that the digital transformation was driving change and Limerick was responding to the challenges and shaping the future in a multitude of dimensions.
“Look to our FDI partners who have come to Limerick. They do so because of the rich vein of talent we have here, because of the expertise and advances in the areas of structural materials and global tech, of medical systems and pharma amongst others,” she explained.
Limerick City and County Council chief executive Pat Daly said that Limerick must be in a position to harness and exploit its innovation strengths.
“We are moving to a common vision for our city and county. We want Limerick to be confident and proud, channelling our edginess and embracing creativity while all the time becoming recognised as the best place in Ireland to study, work play live,” he added.