Smart Dublin Launches 8 New Innovation Contracts Worth €300k

Smart Dublin in partnership with Enterprise Ireland announced phase 2 of their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme today in Wood Quay Venue. Eight companies were awarded further contracts worth over €300k to pilot and test innovative smart technologies across Dublin which are addressing challenges such as illegal dumping, flooding and wayfinding.

The companies successfully awarded phase 2 funding are: Analytics Engines, Carra Group, danalto, Evercam, mSemicon, Route4U, Skytango and SparroWatch.

Speaking at the launch Marguerite Bourke, Manager SBIR Ireland (Enterprise Ireland) said:  “We are delighted with the level of innovation and collaboration being demonstrated through SBIR in partnership with Smart Dublin. Already, we are seeing commercial successes, new spin-outs and jobs created out of the first phase. In Phase 2, the SMEs will test their ideas and build prototypes that Smart Dublin will be able to deploy immediately. The wider applicability potential for these new products, both in Ireland and internationally, is a very exciting prospect."

The challenges launched May 2017 generated almost 200 expressions of interest and 40 proposals. Of those, 16 were awarded phase 1 funding of circa €12,500 alongside supports from Smart Dublin (the 4 Dublin Local Authorities) to research and demonstrate the viability of their solution. Today’s event highlights the eight successful companies, who have each been awarded phase 2 contracts worth over €300k to prototype the solutions in the Dublin region. Each of these eight companies will deliver quick-fire pitches of their solutions at the event in the Wood Quay Venue.

Photos available after the event on request from


For further information contact:
Smart Dublin – Jamie Cudden M. 0877835411

The event will be held 11th April 2018 at 15:30 in The Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.


What is Smart Dublin?
Smart Dublin is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve challenges and improve city life. We aim to position Dublin as a world leader in the development of new urban solutions, using open data, and with the city region as a test bed.
The companies successfully awarded phase 2 funding are: Analytics Engines, Carra Group, danalto, Evercam, mSemicon, Route4U, Skytango and SparroWatch

Challenge Background

Illegal Dumping: Despite numerous attempts and campaigns from local authorities; there remains a failure to reduce the number of illegal dumping incidents across the Dublin Region. We sought low cost, innovative, tech solutions in the form of products, services or applications to tackle illegal dumping and fly tipping.

For the illegal dumping challenge, Mary Maguire, Senior Executive Officer, Environment, Water & Climate Change Department from South Dublin highlighted the outcomes of the SBIR’s as “allowing the local authorities to be smarter with data to help focus targeting of waste management resources and predicting future problem areas, while the deployment of drones, smart cameras and Internet of things solutions has really opened up new possibilities to effectively tackle the illegal dumping challenge in Dublin”.

Flood/Gully Monitoring: The aim is to use technology to maximise the use of limited resources by monitoring gullies, especially in high risk areas. The system provides real time information during a flood event to provide the local authority an opportunity to deploy resources to the areas that need it most.

Roy O Donnell, Gully Manager, Dublin City Council “Through the SBIR challenge we now have fully working prototypes deployed across Dublin - we never expected to be at the point where we would be deploying low cost sensors that provide real time data from the hostile and grim environment of a Dublin gully.”

Wayfinding: Smart Dublin and the Grangegorman Development Agency were seeking solutions to Improve wayfinding in a manner that can transition seamlessly between indoor and outdoor environments and allow users to arrive to their destination or appointment on time.

The wayfinding challenge has uncovered exciting now opportunities in wayfinding solutions that support GPS navigation for wheelchair users on the pedestrian network.

“Through the SBIR process this solution has been developed for Swords Main Street in Fingal. We look forward to engaging with citizens and businesses, and particularly the accessibility community, on phase 2 when we will be deploying the solution and promoting usage and engagement. We also plan to expand the pilot to the Dublin Docklands District in partnership with Dublin City Council” said Dominic Byrne, Head of IT, Fingal.

What is SBIR?
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) is a pre commercial procurement initiative supported by Enterprise Ireland. The aim of SBIR is to drive innovation across all sections of the Irish Public Sector via robust engagement with technology rich companies and organisations, through competitive challenges. SBIR Ireland

Smart Dublin has embraced the national SBIR programme and has delivered four pre-commercial procurement challenges since 2016 with another 5 challenges due to launch in early 2018. Over one million euro of funding has been committed to date to source innovative, low cost solutions to help scale up cycling, address illegal dumping, to better monitor flooding risk and to deliver enhanced wayfinding solutions across Dublin. To date 23 companies have benefitted from funding as well the opportunity to work alongside local authority teams to design and pilot their solutions across Dublin.

Why it works?

SBIR allows municipalities to engage with industry to explore and test technology and innovative solutions to challenges affecting their Local Authority. It was part of a national SBIR programme which offers 50% match funding to the local authorities up to a max of 200k per challenge. It provides companies a unique reference site to showcase their new innovative solutions. Provides a line of funds (100%) to SME’s (Small Medium Enterprise) to conduct research and also to test their challenge based solutions.

Company Information by Challenge

Illegal Dumping

Analytics Engines –

Analytics Engines is designing a new software tool to help tackle illegal dumping in the Dublin region, a problem which costs over €1.5million each year. Using our data platform, Analytics Engines XDP, we are going to provide the Dublin councils with real-time monitoring information from across the four council areas. Then using inbuilt advanced analytics capabilities, we are applying machine learning and predictive models to aid in tackling this problem, with the aim of highlighting areas that are at risk from illegal dumping. The final part of the solution is to use prescriptive analytics to measure the effectiveness of any action taken to determine its value in preventing this growing problem. Our goal is to enable the Councils to take proactive data driven decisions to enable targeted allocation of resources to help tackle this complex issue.

"Smart Dublin, through the SBIR process, has been invaluable in giving Analytics Engines the opportunity to demonstrate our capability in addressing a real world problem. We have been able to, for the first time, integrate data from all four Dublin councils to help understand and tackle the problem of Illegal dumping and the effect it is having on our communities. If we could give any advice to SME's considering an SBIR challenge it would be, choose a challenge that fits with your strategy, one you believe you can commercialise and go for it!" - Conor Dumigan (Head of Smart Cities, Analytics Engines)

Evercam -

Excuse me, did you drop something? Our automated device reduces opportunistic littering by playing an audio warning when it sees a bag dropped. Utilising advances in low power video analytics, the camera is battery powered for up to 30 days meaning it is low cost, easy to deploy and effective without the costly exercise of prosecution.  

“The SBIR has allowed us to take an idea through to a working product, we couldn't have done that without the support of Smart Dublin as, especially with hardware type solutions, the cost of R&D is so high and hard for a small company like ours to do speculatively." - Marco Herbst (Company Director, Evercam)

Skytango -

Part of the problem with litter is that we can’t see it all – at least not from the ground! Skytango’s aerial mapping flights use licensed drone pilots from communities across the country to regularly identify and track litter along roads, beaches and rivers. By first anonymizing and then analyzing aerial images, Skytango will present local authorities with actionable data, tagged and geo-referenced, which will allow them to monitor, quantify and predict problem areas.

'The SBIR challenge has been a fantastic avenue for a start up like Skytango to make inroads with a potential customer, namely local authorities. The process has allowed us to be truly agile and innovative in tackling an important issue while making great use of our platform and drones for good. It has, thus far, been a success for us.' - Susan Talbot (Co Founder)

SparroWatch - 

SparroWatch is developing an intelligent, low-powered camera system that can be deployed cost effectively in both urban and rural environments. By using cameras integrated with intelligent software and cloud-connectivity, we will deliver a smart monitoring system to capture, report and prevent illegal activity.

“SBIR has provided SparroWatch with a unique opportunity to tackle a very real problem. The initiative has allowed us to take our idea from concept to prototype. We have had the chance to engage directly with councils in order to develop the most appropriate technical solution. I would advise SMEs to research future SBIR challenges and engage with the process, it has been a great experience for us.” - David Tunney (Managing Director)

Gully Monitoring Challenge

Carra Group -

A wireless network of Sigfox-enabled water sensors will relay flood event data in real-time to Carra’s Hubeleon anagement & monitoring system. Hubeleon will determine and notify the closest, rostered Drainage personnel to attend to specific events, while allowing Operations Centre personnel to have a real-time overview of the response effort and the progress of works. Feeds from Met Eireann and other online meteorological sources will help produce data-rich analysis of flooding events and the response.

“The SBIR process is a great opportunity for companies to present and pitch their innovative ideas to clients….” There’s your problem, now here’s how we propose to solve it……!” - Niall Doonan (Managing Director Carra Group)

Danalto -

Secure, accurate and timely retrieval of gully water levels is an assured means for any City and Public authority to ensure that it can, in a directed manner, protect citizen’s property and public infrastructure for the common good. Project Gully-Spy delivers an innovative means of integrating low cost water presence and silt level sensors, with the latest Internet of Things connectivity solutions and data analysis platforms to provide the insights at individual gully, street, district and city level so that City Operations can provide the most optimised response to the threat of pluvial or fluvial events.

The SBIR process, from the start, enabled open collaboration between Danalto and key Dublin City Council managers to solve real-world environmental problems for citizens. This engagement would have been difficult without this mechanism and apart from the funding provided, the SBIR process has accelerated Danalto's activity in our target space, IoT for environmental monitoring and smart cities." - Albert Baker (COO & Co Founder)

mSemicon -

MSemicon designs, develops and supplies customised engineering products, generally including electronic and mechanical subassemblies. Specialising in IoT, lighting, motion control, agritech, RF, audio, sensor,loRa/LoRaWAN(TM) ,medical device, environmental and renewable energy technologies. mSemicon has developed a small low power electronic device which can be fitted into gullies, and which can detect a rise in water level consistent with imminent flooding. If and when this device detects such a rise, it can send an emergency message out, via radio signals, to city engineers warning them of where it has occurred.               

“The SBIR process does it all: it first identifies a need for you, and then it vets your proposal at an early stage. It also supports the development effort both financially and through company exposure. And it can even deliver an order. You could not ask for more.”

“For mSemicon, this process has been very valuable, as it has allowed the company to concentrate on the development of a new proprietary product in the knowledge that there was a requirement for it.” - Ciarán Ó Bréartúin (Bainisteoir Ginearálta)

Wayfinding Challenge

Route4U -

Route4U is a GPS navigation for wheelchair users on the pedestrian network. Our scalable and automatic technology and crowdsourced data makes surveying cost effective and fast. Route4U offers its solution to cities, universities, airports and property managers in order to serve better their citizens, clients and visitors. Route4U navigation is free for end-users and completely customised to the users own abilities.

“We are delighted to continue working with experts from Dublin on Route4U Sidewalk Information System, an inclusive wayfinding tool, which also supports planning, for a walkable, rollable, livable and lovable Dublin.” - Peter Bodo (CEO)