I had the opportunity to be involved with the launch of IBM’s new Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin. Public and private sector are partnering together to make this a reality in Ireland.
IBM opens its first Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin, Ireland
A smarter city needs a smart hub – a place where experts and researchers from different disciplines can meet and collaborate with local authorities, central government and academia, developing and applying technologies that will help the city make more informed, better decisions for its citizens.
For Dublin and its wider city region, this hub will be IBM’s newly announced Smarter Cities Technology Centre.
Several IBMers, representatives from the Irish Government and Dublin City, as well as a number of Irish media, gathered for the announcement, which took place on Wednesday, March 24th at the Royal College of Physicians, a renowned city centre venue.
What does this announcement mean for IBM?
The new Centre will be based at IBM’s Technology Campus in Mulhuddart, just outside Dublin. This location is already home to the Ireland Development Lab and a number of significant missions: in particular, the Water Management Centre of Excellence was at the centre of significant collaborations with the Marine Institute of Ireland (SmartBay project) and the Environmental Protection Agency (Splash project) last year, in the area of Smarter Water.
The Smarter Cities Technology Centre aims to employee 200 people over the next three years, building a highly-skilled, cross-disciplinary team that will work with local authorities, universities, small and large businesses with the ultimate goal of helping cities better understand and manage their systems and resources such as transport, energy and water. The team will research, develop and commercialise new ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable and intelligent.
Michael Daly, IBM Ireland Country General Manager, commented: ‘IBM has been in Ireland since 1956 and continues to evolve its presence in Ireland towards higher value, knowledge intensive activity. This announcement highlights the critical role that Ireland continues to play in IBM’s success.’
Speaking at the announcement was also Dr Katharine Frase, IBM Vice President, Industry Solutions and Emerging Business. During her speech, she passionately stated: ‘The IDA team [Industrial Development Agency] and the City leaders in Dublin have been a delight to work with.’
Minister O’Keeffe with Dr Frase and Pat Toole Explaining why Dublin was the ideal location for IBM’s first Smarter Cities Technology centre, she mentioned the necessity to have the centre in a place where IBM could collaborate with an ecosystem of partners willing to test, in the real world, technologies such as Cloud, Stream and High Performance Computing, advanced analytics and visualisation. Her statement was echoed by Batt O’Keeffe, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, who mentioned Dublin City’s recent announcement of its intention to collaborate with IBM as a ‘test bed’, embracing technology to stimulate economic activity and growth.
Dr Frase also thanked Pat Toole, IBM Alumni and former Senior Vice President, who was present in the audience and who in her words ‘is the inspiration behind many things IBM does’. In fact, Mr Toole was instrumental in ensuring that IBM heavily invested in Ireland in the mid-nineties and in securing the 100acre site that was to become the IBM Technology Campus in Mulhuddart.
Overview of the announcement, including highlights from each of the speakers:
Alex Ingle, IBM Ireland Strategy, Development and Innovation Manager, explains what key projects and activities the new centre will be looking at