Leah Fairman By Leah Fairman

| 27 April 2023

Eight Connected Hubs shortlisted for the 2023 Digital Town Awards across six categories

Congratulations to hubs across Ireland who are being recognised for their programmes to increase digital skills in education, business, tourism, and ag-tech.

Eights hubs have been shortlisted across six separate categories in the Digital Town Awards run by Dot.ie.  The Awards recognise and reward projects with a digital element that have been created by town groups and local communities.  They promote awareness, knowledge, use and understanding of digital in Ireland by its citizens, businesses and communities. They also highlight the benefits and possibilities of digital and celebrate the digital achievements of local towns, big and small.

Connected Hubs are proud sponsors of the Digital Changemaker category of the 2023 awards.

Find the full list of awards and shortlists on the Digital Towns site

Finalists: Digital Education

This category is for digital projects in the areas of education, training and development at all levels in the town.

Shorlisted: Spraoi agus Sport – Carndonagh, Co Donegal

Unleashing Digital Creativity using digital fabrication to bring young people’s ideas to life:  Young people in rural Donegal faced educational disadvantage. Spraoi agus Spórt, a social enterprise, opened the Digital Creative Lab where young people use digital fabrication to bring their ideas and creativity to life. This shows them what digital skills, design entrepreneurship and engineering can offer for their future. It has been rolled out across national and secondary schools in the county and there are high hopes for the contribution of STEM to future job opportunities.

Join the Inishowen CoWorking Trail event to visit Spraoi agus Sport on 26th April - National Hub Showcase Day.

Shorlisted: The Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen, Co Cork

Training workforce returnees: This is a digital skills training programme for workforce returnees, usually women who have taken career leave for family reasons, to re-enter local and remote employment. The key focus is on ICT and digital literacy as well as networking, communications and team-building. Training is delivered in workshops and content is available through the Learning Management System (LMS).  The programme address the often unseen cohort of latent talent that can contribute to the economy with the right up-skilling.

Visit Ludgate Hub on 27th April for their Showcase Day event – more details here

Finalists: Digital Tourism

This category is for projects that can demonstrate the use of digital technology to attract tourists and deliver a distinctive experience.

Shorlisted: The Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen, Co Cork

Online tools and databases to research and discover ancestors: Many people visit West Cork to research and discover their ancestors.  The heritage centre created a platform to provide a range of free digital assets such as digital maps, videos, databases and history trails. The databases include Famine records and graveyard archives. These were linked to real-life locations providing a vibrant showcase of the heritage of Skibbereen.

Finalists: Digital Business

This category is for projects that can demonstrate creation and implementation of digital strategies to promote businesses in the town.

Shorlisted: Athboy – A Tech Athboy Digital Hub, Co Meath

‘A Tech, Athboy Digital Hub’: This hub offers remote working facilities in the local area, providing revenue for the centre and a service to the community. This digital ecosystem is inclusive, fosters innovation, creativity and sustainability. The website will make it easy to reserve spaces through an online booking system. Powered by digital technology, the hub plans to expand its existing facilities to further encourage remote working practices for all.

Shorlisted: Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre, Co Galway

Online seminars and coaching for businesses and entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurship is key to local economic growth. This group provides new entrepreneurs and developing businesses the opportunity to network, share knowledge and receive mentoring. By delivering online seminars and coaching they have inspired the community to launch their own businesses. Construction of a state-of-the-art digital hub; ‘Ballinasloe Enterprise Hub’ has started which will facilitate remote working which will attract people to the town, boosting economic growth.

Visit Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre on 27th April for their Showcase event – ‘Why Choose Ballinasloe?’

 

Shorlisted: RDI Hub Digital Business, Killorglin, Co Kerry

The RDI hub:  This hub was launched to facilitate the creation of new products, services and jobs in the South West region. It has transformed Kerry into a globally connected digital technology innovation, enterprise and skillset hotspot boosting economic growth. It runs numerous programmes including hackathons which resulted in Augmented Reality Apps for Kerry tourism; a STEM passport programme whose graduates gain a 50 Leaving Cert bonus; and ongoing supports for scaling companies to attract investment and create jobs.

Visit RDI Hub on 26th April for their Showcase Day event ‘Kerry Hubs Showcase Day’.

Finalists: Agri-Tech

Agri-tech aims to improve farming by using digital technology to improve efficiency and profitability.

Shorlisted: Dingle Hub and Agri-tech, Co Kerry

An App to monitor energy usage: Farmers on the Dingle Peninsula are looking for ways to secure their future in these challenging times through use of technology, diversification and innovation. There is a network of farmers in the local sustainable energy community, whose objective is to reduce energy usage and identify land management practices that could assist in storing carbon.  The installation of energy monitoring via an App resulted in a 3% C02 decrease.

Shorlisted: The Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen, Co Cork

Skibbereen – Farm of the Future – a cluster to support agri-tech start ups: The ambition of this project is to bring together farmers, innovators and agricultural entities to support agri-tech startups.  This has created a network or cluster where knowledge is shared for the benefit of all.  An agri-tech ideation day was held to explore the use of innovative approaches and technologies to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture.

Finalists: Newcomer

Shorlisted: Blackwater Valley Digital HubEmyvale, Monaghan

Truagh – Using digital tools to deliver a community services programme - Truagh Spirit is a community services programme based in rural Monaghan.  Before Covid, services were delivered face-to-face. The impact of the pandemic meant they had to completely rethink their model and use digital options to reduce social isolation and loneliness.  This included WhatsApp groups, Zoom or Teams for meetings and video chats, Facebook for sharing images and news, and a remote study hub for students who had poor broadband at home.  Digital has opened a whole new range of possibilities which the community plans to build on.

Shorlisted: Boher Parish HallBallina, Tipperary

Boher - Let's all code together - All things digital have been embraced in Boher by introducing inclusive, creative coding for children and their families in the community digital hub and in the primary school.  It allows people learn new skills in a collaborative and fun way.

Finalists: Digital Rising Star

Shorlisted: Boher Parish HallBallina, Tipperary

Boher - Let's all code together - All things digital have been embraced in Boher by introducing inclusive, creative coding for children and their families in the community digital hub and in the primary school.  It allows people learn new skills in a collaborative and fun way.

 

Good luck to all the hubs at the Gala Awards event on 24th May.

 

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