Donegal showcases its digital innovation ecosystem

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CARPE DIGEM partners visit two of the Donegal region's digital innovation hubs to find out more about disruptive good practices and facilities.
12 May 2022 - CARPE DIGEM  project
CARPE DIGEM visitors at CoLab.
The second day of Interreg Europe funded CARPE DIGEM project's North West Ireland study visit hosted by ERNACT have discovered Donegal’s digital innovation ecosystem.

During the morning, the role of Digital Innovation Hubs as innovation tools have been explored. Mary Doherty, Manager at Craoibh Termon has welcomed the team to the gteic Craoibh Termon facilities located in An Tearmann in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Ireland) where we have had the opportunity to learn how they are focusing on building and developing a vibrant community within the hub that will contribute to and promote economic development in the area.

Followed by Micheál Ó Duibhir from Údarás na Gaeltachta and Manager at gteic Gaoth Dobhair, who have presented the Innovation Digital Hub network of 31 innovation and digital hubs developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta in locations throughout Ireland’s Gaeltacht (irish spoken areas). The hubs include hot desk and shared space facilities for remote workers and has established the Gaeltacht as an attractive option for new age companies.

Afterwards, CARPE DIGEM partners and stakeholders have heard about the Donegal Hubs network by Kevin McShane, Manager of The ii (inishowen innovation) an innovative digital tech space to collaborate with local entrepreneurs, remote workers and existing companies. Donegal Hubs network is about the ecosystem development and shared infrastructure that are delivering real benefits across the North West of Ireland.

During the afternoon the CARE DIGEM team visited CoLab digital innovation hub in the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Letterkenny. Dr Margaret Quinn, ERNACT Programme Manager, provided an overview of the Donegal Digital action plan, the initiatives for a range of complimentary services and projects to enable the County to compete in the new "disrupted" innovation and knowledge worker ecosystem.

Partners also enjoyed a tour through CoLab with the hub Manager, Patsy Donaghy, who presented the hub as a model hub for university and company collaboration to transfer knowledge from ATU into business. A second tour to the WISAR Lab - Technology Gateway followed with Stephen Seawright. The Wireless Sensor and Applied Research Lab (WiSAR Lab) develops products and industry solutions using expertise in Wireless, Embedded Systems and related themes.

The learning and inspiring process continued then with the presentation of Innovation-as-a-Service (IaaS) project, a model to assist transfer of technology to business in rural and remote areas. Leah Ryan, ERNACT, spoke about the increase and the uptake of disruptive technology solutions by SMEs in the Border region to accelerate their competitiveness and innovation levels. 

Afterwards, Anne Marie Conlon, Donegal County Council, took the floor to share with the international visitors the ‘Remote Working Strategy in Donegal’. She included the strategy followed, conclusions and the vision of the different actors involved (strategy promoter, hub managers, remote workers, companies...). Last but not least, Maria Gallagher, Wisar Lab, presented an overview of the Grow Remote Initiative to increase the supply of remote jobs by employers, increase the demand for remote working by individuals in Ireland and facilitate the recruitment of people living in Ireland to remote job positions. The session concluded with some discussion time for the CARPE DIGEM partnership to reflect and input on the last two-days sessions and visits.

Thank you to all organisers and attendees for your interest, support and active participation!
The team at CoWork Plus Tearmann.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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