Tag Archives: Nimbus

Cork as a smart region?

Back in December we posted about the extent to which Dublin can be considered a smart city.  In this post, we complement this with a similar analysis of Cork, which is seeking to become a smart region rather than city (utilising smart technologies across the city and the county).

In Cork a ‘smart agenda’ is being developed that builds on the existing assets, attributes and experiences in the region through the ‘Cork Smart Gateway’ initiative, which is a collaboration between the two local authorities and the Nimbus Research Centre (Internet of Things, networks) and Tyndall National Institute (ICT, microelectronic circuits, nanotechnology, energy, photonics). The aim is to leverage a quadruple helix innovation model where government, industry, academia and civil participants work together to co-create and drive structural change utilising ICT solutions. As well as a host of EU, SFI and enterprise projects, Cork is also home to the National Sustainable Building Energy Testbed, Water Systems and Service and Innovation Centre, and the Mallow Systems and Innovation Centre, and UCC is a lead partner of Insight and CONNECT.  A full range of projects is set out in Table 1.

In addition to these projects, Cork City Council is a follower City in a Smart Cities and Communities Horizon 2020 project called GrowSmarter, a €25m initiative (lead cities: Stockholm, Cologne, and Barcelona). GrowSmarter establishes three ‘lighthouses’ for smart cities which demonstrate to other cities how they can be prepared in an intelligent way for the energy challenges of the future. As part of this project, Cork will roll out initiatives in transport, energy, and information and communications technology. There are also a significant number of companies driving Internet of Things development in the region, for example, EMC and Vodafone have jointly invested €2m in a new INFINITE internet of things industrial platform that will traverse Cork.  There are also a range of ongoing research and pilot projects that have yet to be mainstreamed, and others that ran for a handful of years before terminating, plus there are a number of other smart city apps available developed by citizens and commercial enterprises.

Table 1: Smart Cork

Smart economy Energy Cork Cluster supporting collaboration and innovation in the energy sector
IT@Cork Cluster supporting collaboration and innovation in the ICT sector
TEC Gateway – part of Nimbus, CIT EI funded technology gateway supporting Irish industry to develop new IoT technologies
Rubicon Incubator – provides supports and capital investment for startups
Smart government City Council housing stock management Stock condition surveys and maintenance activities updated by smart technologies close to real time
Library digital services A suite of library apps for various services
Variable messaging signs Real time off-street parking and road closure information on key access routes to the city
Smart living Smart energy management Real-time monitoring and control of energy use and environmental characteristics for residential and commercial buildings; Secure management and prognostics networks for energy systems – EOS
Smart urban district energy Management Real-time monitoring and control of neighbourhoods (blocks of buildings) for sustainable energy use
Smart lighting Intelligent LED lighting networks
GreenCom Smart microgrid testbed that enables wireless monitoring/control of loads, microgeneration and microstorage energy elements
Smart mobility Coca Cola Zero Bikes Public Hire Bike Scheme
LeapCard Smart card access/payment for trains and buses
Real-time passenger information Real time bus and train information at stops
EV Infrastructure Deploy standard and fast charging points throughout the city
Smart environment Smart testbeds National Sustainable Energy Testbed (NSBET); Community Testbed – A regional community testbed with access to high-performance broadband facilities; Water Test-bed
River Lee deployment Real time wireless sensor river monitoring system looking at water quality and depth
Rainwater harvesting Remote monitoring of rainwater harvesting system in Sunview Fairhill
Smart water Sensor development and integration to support management of Fats, oils and greases in the waste water networks – FOGMON

Aquametrics – Single point monitoring of water networks

Mid-altitude security and environmental monitoring AEOLUS – Mid-altitude (400m) sensor platform combining HD cameras, metrological, Radar and AIS for coastal monitoring for security and environmental assessment
Smart people Maker Dojo Hands-on, ‘hacker’ style workshops
CorkCitiEngage A Cork Smart Gateway Survey Project. Public feedback on public issues, digital skills, and use of public infrastructure
CorkOpenData data.corkcity.ie – An online platform for publishing city information obtained from various sources, from sensors to surveys

Source: Compiled by the Cork Smart Gateway

Like Dublin then Cork lay claim to being a nascent smart city.  Similarly they are very much at the start of realising the ambition of becoming a smart region and over the next number of years the smart region landscape is likely to change quite substantially as new initiatives are rolled out and new technologies deployed.

Rob Kitchin

Thanks to Claire Davis and Cork Smart Gateway initiative for compiling the table, with was prepared for our recent report on smart cities, privacy and security.