Expleo to invest €2m in Irish tech accelerator addressing SDGs

17 Jan 2024

Brian Kennedy, Expleo’s head of digital and innovation. Image: Expleo

The company said it will invest in ideas chosen at its annual hackathon and is planning to trial a safety app in Dublin after a successful pilot in UCD.

Global technology, engineering and consulting provider Expleo is investing €2m in an accelerator for team-led ideas that address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The company said the €2m will be used to invest in sustainable and innovative ideas that are chosen for this accelerator, over a period of two years. Expleo said its annual hackathon will determine which projects receive funding.

The two-year investment will include deploying dedicated teams to develop selected ideas and bring them to market, as well as understanding their sustainability impact, social benefit and market opportunity.

The UN’s 17 SDGs are an urgent call to action for all countries to address key issues for humanity such as poverty, education, affordable energy and climate action.

Brian Kennedy, Expleo’s head of digital and innovation, said the company’s innovation accelerator underlines its commitment to “investing in sustainable solutions for people and our planet”.

“We firmly believe that by collaborating and pooling our resources, we can find innovative solutions to address critical problems,” Kennedy said. “Whether it’s developing new green technologies, supporting sustainable agriculture or promoting responsible consumption, at Expleo we are driving positive change in the name of sustainability and the UN SDGs.”

Expleo said the winner at its hackathon last year was Safe Hubs – a mobile app for people who feel vulnerable walking or travelling on their own, usually at nighttime.

Expleo deployed a team of experts to develop the app and partnered with University College Dublin (UCD) on a pilot to improve campus safety. The app let users provide live tracking of their location to campus security and automatically alerted security if there were any unexpected changes to their movements.

Following the successful UCD pilot, Expleo said it plans to trial and pilot Safe Hubs in Dublin, with the aim of extending it to all urban areas and communities in the future.

“We hope that this innovation accelerator will not only stimulate new ideas and products but also foster collaboration within our functions and services,” Kennedy said. “The accelerator, along with events such as our annual hackathon, encourage participants from different areas and skillsets to approach problem-solving with a fresh human-centric mindset.”

Last year, Permanent TSB partnered with Expleo to bring an anti-fraud software feature to its banking app.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic