With the growing pressure to tackle the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change, all eyes are on innovators to develop solutions that make a sustainable economy work. Dublin is rapidly moving towards greening the city, with Dublin City Council supporting tech innovation to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth.
Tech innovation is where grownups can actively look for unicorns without being considered odd. Racing to be the first to launch the next big thing and come out on the sunny side of the rainbow with a big pot of gold is a dream of many innovators.
Although a new era began when the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were announced in 2015 by the United Nations with a strong vision to create the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. More than 178 countries signed up for these goals, with specific targets to reach by 2030. The SDGs have become a driving force for forward thinking businesses and cities to redefine the role of innovation to propel these changes. These goals have also been reinforce by Dublin City’s own corporate plan to create a green and low carbon city.
Driving change with data
Since Dublin has built up a reputation as a hub for innovation where new ideas are nurtured and supported through a vibrant ecosystem to scale globally, the city needs to shift towards sustainability to keep its leading position.
The Smart Dublin initiative was launched to leverage the data-driven revolution in the tech industry. It aims to unlock the potential in accessing and managing data to help develop policies that create a greener, safer and more enjoyable places to live. The project aims to improve governance, integrate transport systems, promote sustainability and support citizens’ quality of life.
Using solar-powered smart bins with sensors that report fullness levels in real-time, and holds up to 5 times the waste volume of traditional bins, is only the start. Using the same infrastructure for foot-traffic sensors, air quality sensors, public Wi-Fi, and telecoms units for 5G networks demonstrates how Dublin is leading the way towards a sustainable future.
Accelerating climate innovation
Solving city challenges could also easily bring market opportunities for start-ups and enterprises, resulting in a quintuple win for the local economy, universities, businesses, citizens and the environment.
Through the city’s involvement in the EU supported Circular Cities ClimAccelerator programme they get to work with innovators focused on these topics. Thanks to this collaboration Fernhay a sustainable logistic innovation enterprise, got the chance to pilot its project in Dublin and expand internationally after a successful trial with a global company.
Whether you are looking at innovation in fighting plastic pollution by offering compostable solutions like Bioplastech, or revolutionising waste water treatment such as NVP Energy company, you will find trailblazers in Dublin. They share the same trait of being genuine innovators benefiting from an empowering environment.
Dublin city also realised that educating business leaders is just as crucial as offering support to innovators. Therefore they launched the MODOS circular economy training programme for enterprises who want to learn and find opportunities in the growing green economy. All of these initiaitives have been reinforced by Dublin being selected to join the EU Mission for 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities
The era of green growth in tech
Trends towards sustainable business are only growing more robust due to several overarching EU directives, such as the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.
New directives under this programme, such as the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Sustainable Product Initiative, the legislative proposal for substantiating green claims made by companies, and mandatory carbon reporting, are already actively shaping the future of innovation.
It is crucial for innovators intending to become unicorns to contribute to building a sustainable economy and find a place like Dublin city where their ideas can get wings to fly.
To find out more visit the Dublin City Council stand (C17) at the Dublin Tech Summit to pick up a copy of Profit with Purpose magazine and find out how Dublin City is working with the tech sector to make Dublin a more sustainable and climate resilient city. If you are interested in starting or growing a business find out more at LEO Dublin City