‘Do you have what it takes to make the Docklands smarter?’ – Silicon Republic

 

We were delighted to feature recently in Silicon Republic covering the development of the Smart Docklands Programme over time and our live Open Call for Pilots. Please see a link to the article below:

Do you have what it takes to make the Docklands smarter?

The call seeks to support the development of impactful, scalable and sustainable pilots involving public bodies, private stakeholders, academia and local communities. The pilot proposals should be ready to deploy with service users, where appropriate, and should be in a position to measure impacts within a six-month timeframe. The themes were selected from feedback gathered through the Smart Docklands Commonplace online surveys (report available here) and other outreach activities with stakeholders including residents, local communities, Dublin City Council, Connect SFI Research Centre, businesses located in the Docklands and their employees. The purpose of the engagement was to identify local challenges and launch an open call for pilots to find potential solutions to address these challenges. The four key themes identified are:

🌳 Environmental Monitoring
🌿 Urban Greening/Biodiversity
🚸 Antisocial Behaviour/Safety
🏫 Community Development

The team has evolved over time and we’re hopeful that funded pilots compliment our existing initiatives and our future plans:

The themes for this call align with the focus of our existing engagement initiatives. By providing a platform for innovation to thrive we’re hopeful that these pilots can help support wider community development, smart cities and climate action plans of both the DCC and Trinity College Dublin.” Darach Mac Donncha, Smart Docklands Programme Manager

 

Smart Docklands Call for Pilots 2024: Call Now Open

Smart Docklands supports the adoption of new and emerging technologies in cities. The programme fast tracks innovation that addresses local and global challenges through collaboration, testing, learning, and education. The programme successfully facilitates and enables the testing and trialling of smart city solutions by identifying local challenges, shaping the future of cities. In 2024, this engagement and facilitation will continue with an open call for pilots from a €50k funding pool. Please find an articulation of the call themes and application details below and contact info@smartdocklands.ie with any additional queries.

Continuing to focus on the deployment of IoT solutions across multiple environments, this call will focus on four key themes. The themes were selected from feedback gathered through the Smart Docklands Commonplace online surveys and other outreach activities with stakeholders including residents, local communities, Dublin City Council, Connect SFI Research Centre, businesses located in the Docklands and their employees. The purpose of the engagement was to identify local challenges and launch an open call for pilots to find potential solutions to address these challenges. The four key themes identified are:

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Urban greening/Biodiversity
  • Antisocial behaviour/Safety
  • Community Development

The call seeks to support the development of impactful, scalable and sustainable pilots involving public bodies, private stakeholders, academia and local communities. The pilot proposals should be ready to deploy with service users, where appropriate, and should be in a position to measure impacts within a six-month timeframe.

To apply please submit your proposal here by Thursday, June 13th at 5pm.

Applicants can apply for more than one call. If your institution cannot access Google Forms via a Google account, you can access the Pilot Application Template, with submission instructions, here.

Smart Docklands Pilot Call Themes:

Some examples of the types of pilots/topics which could be relevant for this call are given here for illustrative purposes. The listed themes have been identified after our recent community engagement surveys (view results here) and align with our existing initiatives and projects.

Environmental monitoring

Proposals may include, but are not limited to solutions that:

  • Provide real-time air quality monitoring in urban environments
  • Combine sensors and data analytics to enhance air quality management in both indoor and outdoor environments
  • Leverage various technologies to help with the overall management and engagement with the River Liffey and to promote the use of the waterways for tourism, leisure and cultural activities, as an integral part of Dublin’s Docklands, 
  • Provide IoT-enabled devices for real-time monitoring of water quality in urban areas
  • Address challenges related to water pollution and ensure the sustainability of water resources
  • Enhance resilience against water-related challenges for urban planning, such as flooding
  • Contribute to climate adaptation and sustainable water management

Urban greening/Biodiversity:

Proposals may include, but are not limited to solutions that:

  • Deploy IoT technologies, where appropriate,  to create and maintain smart urban green spaces
  • Enhance the overall management and sustainability of urban green areas using IoT and data analytics
  • Leverage technology for citizen participation in biodiversity conservation and sustainable urban practices
  • Deliver innovative, educational and/or awareness building programs through the use of smart city solutions that promote environmental stewardship

Antisocial Behaviour/Safety:

Proposals may include, but are not limited to solutions that:

  • Encourage diverse community participation and a broad representation of perspectives, ensuring that the smart city solutions address the needs of all citizens
  • Provide local communities with better knowledge in relation to smart city solutions, how they work, why they have been deployed, what the benefit/impact is; fostering trust through a more informed understanding of the technologies and encouraging future participation in pilot programs
  • Develop educational initiatives to raise awareness about emerging technologies and their potential impact on urban living
  • Prioritise the integration of smart city technologies that enhance public safety, emergency response coordination, and real-time monitoring of critical infrastructure

Community Development:

Proposals may include, but are not limited to solutions that:

  • Develop and implement pilot initiatives that foster collaboration, awareness, drawing inspiration from successful models in schools and communities
  • Build upon Smart Dockland’s existing community engagement and outreach activities, including via the Academy of the Near Future
  • Help strengthen relationships with local libraries and other community hubs to enhance Smart Docklands’ integration into the fabric of the community. Explore collaboration opportunities, events, and knowledge-sharing initiatives to create a symbiotic relationship with these vital community institutions
  • Introduce and support the creation of maker-space areas within Smart Docklands, fostering innovation and hands-on learning. Collaborate with local schools, community centres, and libraries to establish accessible spaces that encourage residents to explore technology, creativity, and entrepreneurship

Who Should Apply:

The pilot call is open to academia, public bodies, private organisations or local community members, who have a proposed solution that can address the challenges or themes presented above. 

The proposal must:

  • Offer an innovative solution (products, services or devices) with the potential to scale 
  • Provide new practices/solutions/perspectives that address challenges related to one of the five key themes above
  • Be sufficiently developed, with a fully operational solution that is ready for deployment by September 2024
  • Be within the legal remit and responsibility of Smart Dockland’s main partners operational capacity 
  • Ensure that any solution proposed adheres to all General Data Protection Regulations

Successful pilot leads will be required to provide Dublin City Council with up to date tax clearance information and proof of valid insurance certs. Failure to provide this information when requested may result in the exclusion of the pilot from the open call.

Why Apply?

  • Opportunity to pilot and demonstrate the potential impact and scalability of the proposed solution in a real-world environment
  • Access to experts from a unique ecosystem with established academic, public and private sector partners as well as an engaged local community.
  • Marketing and promotional support for the proposed solution via the Smart Docklands network
  • Funding of up to €12.5K (inc. of VAT) is available to support successful pilots 
  • Access to workspace in the Docklands are during the pilot period.

Application details:

  • Call closes: 13th June 2024 5pm
  • Evaluation of proposals: Your submission will be reviewed by an expert panel drawn from Smart Dockland’s partners. A shortlist of applicants will be selected and asked to make a presentation to the evaluation panel. An update on the call outcome will be provided to all applicants at the end of the review process, anticipated by 4th, July 2024
  • Projects to start: September 2024
  • Mid-way review: December 2024
  • Final Evaluation and Close Out: March 2025

Eligibility, Evaluation & Selection Criteria:

All pilot proposals must be completed and submitted using the Pilot Application Template on or before the closing date. Proposals not submitted using the template or submitted after the deadline will not be evaluated.

All eligible proposals will be evaluated by an expert panel drawn from Smart Dockland’s partners and a shortlist of applicants will be selected and invited to present the proposed solution to the evaluation panel.

Pilot proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Impact: 

Successful proposals will clearly demonstrate the positive impact of the solution for the Smart Docklands area in relation to the challenges posed under the five key themes described above. Proposals must provide details on how impact will be measured.

  • Scalability:

Proposals will be evaluated on the solution’s potential for scale, the ambition for scalability and how it can be achieved, as well as potential integration with existing services. Proposals should describe the future business model.

  • Level of Innovation:

A level of innovation in terms of technology/service will be required that addresses an unmet or underserved need. Innovation in the incremental or disruptive approach taken to advance the pilot with end-users will also be evaluated.

  • Team & Resources:

Proposals will be evaluated based on allocation of resources required to develop the solution, capacity to deliver, skills and qualifications of the proposed project team. Proposals will also be evaluated on the expected level of support required from relevant Smart Docklands partners and their actual capacity to support the proposal. Proposals must include a full breakdown of costs related to the proposed solution.

  • User-Centric:

Proposals will be evaluated on the positive impact of the solution for people living, working, visiting or doing business in the Docklands area and how well the solution addresses the challenges identified above.

  • Alignment with the objectives of Smart Docklands:

The pilot will be evaluated against both DCC and CONNECT’s objectives to fast track innovation that addresses local and global challenges through collaboration, testing, learning, and education.

About Smart Docklands:

Established in 2018, the programme is funded by Dublin City Council (DCC) and CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks headquartered at Trinity College Dublin. 

Smart Docklands is an award winning programme that supports the adoption of new and emerging technologies in cities. The programme fast tracks innovation that addresses local and global challenges through collaboration, testing, learning, and education.

The project focuses on the deployment of IoT across multiple environments, effective engagement and the opportunities and challenges associated with the future densification of telecommunication networks.

Our education and awareness building programme provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to use technology to develop solutions, by fostering creativity and citizen participation.

The Community Survey Report is here!

We are happy to share the report from our Community Survey, which ran from the end of November 2023 to January 2024 on our online engagement platform, and collected feedback from 300 participants. It aimed to understand what’s most important to our community, helping us shape the future of the Docklands. The demographic of respondents showcased a wide age range and reflected a mix of professional, residential, and transient interactions among the respondents. You can find the whole report here.

 

In gauging the community’s priorities, the data reveals a strong emphasis on the 🌳 Environment, with 33% considering it the most important theme. The well-being of 👨‍👧 People closely follows, with 26% highlighting its significance. 🏃🏻‍♀️ Living conditions rank at 19%, indicating a notable consideration for the community’s day-to-day experience.  🚴🏿‍♀️ Mobility is identified as most important by 17%, reflecting the importance placed on accessible and efficient transportation.

 

In the 🌳 Environment theme top concerns are 💨 Air quality and 🌿Greening. In the 👨‍👧 People & Living, 🏫 Community facilities and social infrastructure and 🚸 Safety emerge as key issues. In 🚴🏿‍♀️ the Mobility section, 🚌 Better public transport links,🚶‍♂️Walkability and🚦Reduced congestion are seen as most important.

 

Popular smart technologies like the 🌉 Samuel Beckett Bridge lights and 🚲 Dublin Bikes highlight your appreciation for tech solutions that enhance city life. You’d like to see more innovations like 💨 air quality monitoring, 📹 CCTV for safety, and 🎧 noise monitoring. There are also some insights about the Docklands as a place to live in, work in and visit and you tend to highlight Docklands’ walkability, community and accessibility among others.

The survey findings will also be used as the basis for an upcoming Call for Pilots where Dublin City Council through its Smart City programme will fund a number of innovative solutions that can address the identified challenges. Based on the feedback we will look for pilots in the four key areas: 🌳Environmental monitoring, 🌿 Urban greening/Biodiversity, 🏫 Community development and 🚸Antisocial behaviour/Safety.

See the whole report here. If you have any questions or comments please contact Karolina at karolina@smartdocklands.ie.

‘expl[ai]n’ workshop – AI awareness building workshop for local authority staff

Last month, we launched expl[ai]n – our pilot AI awareness building workshop for local authority staff! The workshop brought together staff from a variety of departments across Dublin City Council and looked at knowing and understanding Traditional AI & Generative AI, determining the risk levels of using AI in various scenarios, and examining opportunities and challenges that could come from using AI in a local authority. This awareness building workshop will increase public sector knowledge about the potential to use AI to better city services.

As Artificial Intelligence is an increasingly topical technology tool, our workshop brought this information to DCC staffers to increase their knowledge and to create an environment where people could ask questions and learn more about AI. The expl[ai]n worksop was delivered through the Smart Docklands district: a unique partnership between Dublin City Council and the CONNECT Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin. 

Please reach out to the Smart Docklands Technology and Engagement Manager, Claudia Bailey (claudia@smartdocklands.ie), if you would be interested in booking an expl[ai]n workshop! 

The Implementation of the Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty

Dublin City Council’s Smart Cities Unit and the Digital Services team have developed one of the first implementation plans for mainstreaming human rights through the delivery and use of digital services in Dublin. Working with nationally recognised Equality and Human Rights Expert Niall Crowley, the Smart Cities Unit and Digital Services teams analysed the Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty and created an evidence book to support the upholding of digital human rights in the public sector.

The existing Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty spells out three main goals for all public bodies in Ireland:

  • Eliminate discrimination
  • Promote equality of opportunity and treatment of its staff and the persons to whom it provides services
  • Protect the human rights [digital rights] of its members, staff and the persons to whom it provides services

The world is at a critical moment in regard to the mainstreaming of digital technologies in both the public and private sectors and the future implications of what these technologies mean for citizens. As cities accelerate digitally, it is more important than ever to be conscious of rapidly changing solutions that are being deployed.

In this digital age, within the larger umbrella of human rights, digital rights are the human rights that exist online as well as offline. This directly correlates to the standard laid out in the Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty to uphold human rights, promote equality, and eliminate discrimination in public bodies in Ireland.

This ongoing work that has been done engaging with the Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty sets the standard to uphold human rights in the digital sector nationwide across Ireland. It is crucial that the employee’s digital rights are embedded in their onboarding training and reinforced in their role when using and procuring digital solutions.

Each of the five equality and human rights value statements are key focus areas to use when examining and deciding to deploy digital services in Dublin. The value statements are: Dignity & Respect, Diversity & Accountability, Inclusion & Social Justice, Participation & Engagement, and Choice & Autonomy.

Many of us use digital services on a daily basis – from accessing the Internet from a mobile device, travelling through traffic intersections, and paying for goods or services. However, gaps in access to devices such as computers or tablets are also evident. For example, people from a lower socio-economic level are more likely to own older and second-hand devices, to have internet access only on their smartphone, and to have limits on the amount of data they can use.

In recent years, there has been a shift of office work to being remote work from home. When organisations assume that any employee has the technical digital skills and digital infrastructure to connect to a job remotely and be able to access all of the services and content online, they are potentially exacerbating the digital divide. This would fall under the Inclusion & Social Justice value statement, because normalising these actions could normalise the digital divide between people of different socio-economic levels.

Especially across lower socio-economic levels and across demographic divides – this digital divide is evident. Those who are unemployed, those with lower education, lone-parent households, and the lower income quintiles are less likely to own ICT devices, use computer software, download apps, use internet banking, or interact with the government online.

Taking a global angle to this work, Dublin has been involved with the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. Since 2018, Dublin has participated and supported the work of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. Dublin committed to upholding and mainstreaming digital rights in the public sector by being a part of the Digital Rights Governance Framework pilot project and now continuing forward as a leadership city in the Coalition.

Further information will be provided about the Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty and the topic of digital human rights through ‘Digital Rights’ workshops facilitated through Academy of the Near Future, which is the Smart Docklands engagement programme for young people and local authority staff. ​​These workshops will help to build staff awareness of the requirements of the Duty, the equality and human rights issues relevant to digital services and the implementation plan for the Duty.

While the Smart Cities Unit and Digital Services teams at Dublin City Council were one of the first departments to create an implementation plan for the Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty; this is expected to scale across Dublin City Council, before spreading to local authorities across Ireland. To continually assess, address, and report digital human rights issues, the Duty must be treated as an ongoing obligation for all public bodies. The Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty Implementation Plan can be found here.

Digital Rights in Dublin: Reflections and Next Steps!

Since 2022, Dublin has been working with the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights and UN-Habitat to mainstream digital rights in the public sector. From May 2022 to March 2023, Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin worked as one the four selected cities to pilot Digital Rights Governance Framework.

Smart Docklands, a joint collaboration between Dublin City Council (DCC) and CONNECT Centre at Trinity College Dublin, developed foundational educational modules on digital rights through the Academy of the Near Future engagement program. The modules examined digital rights through the lens of ethics and privacy and three different stakeholders were identified; community members, local authority staff, and young people. After co-developing this learning content with experts in UN-Habitat and Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, three independent workshops were delivered in Dublin in March 2023.

Smart City Expo and World Congress – Barcelona

On the 9th of November 2023, we presented our process in developing the workshops and shared learnings from delivering our work on the Digital Rights Governance Project pilot on a panel discussion hosted by the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights and UN-Habitat: ‘Human Rights in the Digital Era: Lessons From Cities in Europe and Latin America’. 

The panel consisted of Claudia Bailey, representing Dublin City Council, along with Marcelo Zander, Undersecretary of Management and Modernisation City of Niterói, Brazil, and Manon Reniers, Project Coordinator, City of Brussels, Belgium. 

The conversation on the panel allowed cities in both Europe and Latin America to share approaches and discuss key learnings in the diverse ways each city is working to mainstream digital rights in the public sector digital transformation. The collaboration among the cities involved with the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights facilitates greater interdisciplinary learnings and implementation plans for mainstreaming digital rights. 

We chose to prioritise education about digital rights through in-person workshops. For the local authority audience, it was crucial to connect people from different departments to increase interdepartmental understanding and facilitate collaboration through the education about digital rights in the workplace. Our work on digital rights directly links to the existing Irish Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, which protects and upholds human rights in Ireland. As digital rights are human rights that are protected in the online space, it is very important to also protect the digital rights of citizens in this digital age. 

We shared how even though our workshops targeted different age groups and demographics, it allowed the creative flexibility to address digital rights in different ways: the youth workshop gave students the opportunity to express their opinions and viewpoints on various topics through an interactive walking debate. Topics discussed included the use of AI in the classroom, data privacy on social media platforms, and unconscious bias in technology. The community workshop identified the most important thematic areas in digital rights for residents – privacy, safety, and security – and discussed this through a people-centred smart city approach.

Going forward, Dublin City Council is embracing the digital transformation and will be rolling out more digital services to meet the needs of citizens and communities. It is crucial that the Council is conscious of preserving, protecting and promoting data privacy, ethics and digital rights as we procure and implement new technologies.

Seoul Smart City Award

Seoul Smart City Award

We are happy to share that Academy of the Near Future won second place in the prestigious Seoul Smart City Prize in the Human-Centricity category. Accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste, this trip allowed us to immerse ourselves in the world of smart cities, connecting with professionals who share our passion for creating inclusive, sustainable urban environments through technology.

This award is a testament to the collaborative dedication between Dublin City Council and CONNECT Centre to human-centric smart city development and ongoing efforts to empower individuals with the knowledge needed to actively participate in shaping their urban environments.

Project Airview Dublin

Our collaboration with Google on Project Airview was highlighted in Google’s annual sustainability report for 2023. Smart Docklands and Dublin City Council have a number of projects ongoing with Google leveraging their Environmental Insights Explorer and helping Dublin use a number of high value datasets to support sustainability and climate action initiatives. Find out more here

 

Digital Rights Local Authority Workshop

We ran our first local authority staff workshop on digital rights. We looked at digital rights concerns about new and emerging technologies in cities through a speculative use case of a robot delivery device being deployed in a part of Dublin.  We also connected this workshop to the Irish Public Sector Duty, which promotes human rights in Ireland. We plan to hold more workshops that incorporate more specific examples of technology and initiatives that directly relate to Dublin City Council! 

 

Digital Rights Community Workshop

We also held a digital rights community workshop at St Andrews Resource Centre in the heart of the Docklands. The workshop focused mostly on privacy, safety, security and protections as one of the most important thematic areas in digital rights for residents. It was great to meet and discuss human rights in relation to digital technologies in Dublin!  If you want us to organise a workshop on digital rights for your community group please get in touch with Karolina at karolina@smartdocklands.ie. 

 

Design your Future City, 2023

‘Design Your Future City’ TY Week ️

March marked the return of Academy of the Near Future’s ‘Design Your Future City’ programme. Across 20th-24th March, 22 Transition Year students joined us in Dogpatch Labs for an exploration into sustainable and inclusive smart city development. From testing water quality on the River Liffey to debating digital rights, students engaged with various challenges facing our cities. 

The week rounded off with students presenting their own smart city solutions to a panel of experts including TCD Provost Linda Doyle, CONNECT’s Dan Kilper, DCC’s Jamie Cudden, and Sinead Kavanagh from Cellnex. It was fantastic to see the creativity of students’ ideas, which ranged from an app that helps citizens find green spaces to a new way of using scanning technology that supports visually impaired people navigate the city! 

Doors Into Docklands

In January we saw the launch of the Dublin Discovery Trails – ‘Doors into Docklands’ app. Co-funded by Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland, the app is the first of its kind in bringing the heritage and history of the Docklands to life through augmented reality (AR). Using just a smartphone you can experience the city’s famous characters, sites, and historical events!

You can download the ‘Doors into Docklands’ app from Google Play and App Store.