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 reinforced 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.
An example of Smart Dublin leading the way is through their project Air View Dublin. This is a collaboration between Google and Dublin City Council where Google’s first electric street view car took to the streets of Dublin to measure air quality taking in over 50 million data points. Air View Dublin aims to develop hyperlocal insights on air quality, with the overall objective of making air quality data and insights available to cities and government, scientists, nonprofit organisations and the public.
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 wastewater 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 about the growing green economy. The MODOS programme also demonstrates how you can save money, boost competitive advantage and unlock new business opportunities that also help the environment. All of these initiatives 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 to contribute to building a sustainable economy and find a place like Dublin City’s vibrant ecosystem to start, sustain and grow. The Local Enterprise Office Dublin City can help small business and micro enterprises with these challenges. Through programmes like Green for Micro businesses can take the first step on their green business journey. Lean for Micro improves operational processes and can save businesses up to €30,000 plus Digital Start can transform businesses by developing a digital strategy and adaptation plan. These programmes help eligible business become more sustainable and set a trajectory for future growth and efficiency.
To find out more on these opportunities visit the Dublin City Council stand at the Furthr Festival to see how Dublin City is working with the tech sector to make Dublin a more sustainable and climate resilient city. You can also pick up a copy of Profit with Purpose, a magazine to inspire innovators to build a sustainable and just economy. If you are interested in starting or growing a business, find out more at LEO Dublin City.