Limericks First “Digital First Day” Event Launched – Champions of Collaboration – How to Progress through Partnerships

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Engine Hubs Network, an Innovate Limerick initiative, are running a flag ship event for Irelands first-ever “Digital First “day  to take place on the 16th of November.  The nationwide initiative, driven by a new collaboration, Digital Ireland Network (www.digital-ireland.ie) sets the goal to highlight the power of digital to work in communities around the country.

It will be the first event in the newly finished Engine Collaboration Centre. The theme of the event will highlight the benefits of digital growth through collaboration to help communities to attract investment, remote workers, home buyers and visitors to their area, thus advancing sustainable regional development and quality of life.

The Innovate Limerick event is called “Champions of Collaboration – How to Progress Through Partnerships”.  Keynote speakers will focus on the importance of collaboration and successful partnerships to grow any business from micro level to multinational.

Dr Karen Weekes is the key note speaker who will present on “The Atlantic Solo: Insights into team & digital collaborations”.  In February 2022, Dr Karen Weekes, became the first Irish woman to row solo and unsupported 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. By successfully completing this journey Karen became the 20th female worldwide to have ever rowed across any ocean solo. Karen is an adventurer, lecturer at MTU, and sport psychologist who specialises in cognitive and practical coping techniques for endurance sport. Her academic research has explored motivations and cognitive coping strategies of ultra-endurance athletes. In this  session, Karen will share insights into how collaboration with her land based team and modern technology proved essential for her successful ocean crossing.

 Jeff McCann, Director of , CSC Innovation Labs, Dell Technologies  will also speak on “Partnership, Not Product” along with   Dr Stephen Kinsella, co-director of the Software Immersive Programme and Professor of Economics form University of Limerick.

Since its conception as Irelands first Innovation company in 2018, Innovate Limerick has a history of innovative , collaboration and is integral to the development of the enterprise ecosystem throughout Limerick and the mid west. The Engine Hubs network, is an Innovate Limerick initiative to ensure strong enterprise connections throughout the region. The Engine Hubs network  was launched in 2021 with 3 hubs and has since grown to 19 hubs throughout the mid west and North Kerry. Co-working spaces currently within the Engine Hubs network include ACM Castleconnell, Croom Community Enterprise Centre, Engine Limerick City, HQ Listowel, HQ Tralee, LEDP Roxboro, The Development Centre, Kilfinnane, The Boat Club, Limerick City, The Yard, Newcastle West, WorkBase in Abbeyfeale, Rathkeale Enterprise Centre, Tipp Digital Hub in Tipperary Town, Broadford Enterprise Centre and Bruree Food Hub.

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Mike Cantwell, CEO of Innovate Limerick and Local Enterprise Office, said “ Successful collaboration is the corner stone of enterprise and community development. It allows individuals and business to work cooperatively to extend existing business capabilities, create new business models, offer new products and services, and satisfy evolving customer needs.  Digital Collaboration can shrink the urban-rural divide, assisting business in  digital growth in attracting economic and social development in rural areas”.

Engine Hubs, the first collaborative cluster of business hubs spanning the Mid-West and North Kerry was launched by Innovate Limerick in May 2022. Engine Hubs  provide a hybrid working infrastructure for remote workers and business owners, as well as full landing pad services to multinationals looking to set up or expand their operations in the region. CEO of Innovate Limerick and Head of Leo Limerick, Mike Cantwell pointed out that Engine Hub’s overall aim is to make Ireland’s Midwest the first-choice location for living, working, and investing by providing opportunities for the companies to explore, create, and facilitate important collaborations. Engine Hub is a network of privately and publicly owned co-working spaces that serve businesses and individuals in both urban and rural areas. It creates a better work-life balance for workers throughout the Midwest and enable them to do so under a common umbrella. The network will contribute to the overall digital development of multiple small towns and rural areas by maximising the use of existing enterprise centres through the region.

At the launch of Digital First Day, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said “The role of digital development to support balanced regional development cannot be overstated.”

The event is Suitable for entrepreneurs, sole traders, community groups, independent and local businesses and everyone interested in improving your online presence.  Free pastries and coffees, and downloadable info packs for all attendees capturing all the available resources.

All attendees can register for up to 3 free passes through Connected Hubs to work from a Hub in the  Engine Hub network.

The Digital Ireland Network is a new collaboration among the country’s 262 Connected Hubs. For more information see www.digital-ireland.ie.