The winners of the Irish initiative ‘Your Country, Your Call,’ will be revealed later this evening. The project was set up to find innovative ideas to foster economic recovery and has had 117,000 visitors from 176 countries over 10 weeks.
According to Cisco, which provided collaboration technology to manage the online initiative, 9,000 entries were submitted and finalists engaged interactively in the competition.
Twenty semi-finalists were selected, which included ideas such as making Ireland a global media hub, establishing an intellectual property-based financial securities market and installing solar photovoltaic electricity-generating units on existing wind farms.
The semi-finalists also had concepts such as establishing Ireland as an online gaming jurisdiction, building an entrepreneurial ecosystem around digital services and setting up an international healthcare services centre in Ireland.
The two winners will be announced this evening, with each one winning a cash prize of €100,000.
Both proposals will be implemented with the support of an independent working group and development fund of up to €500,000 for each project.
“Ireland is famous for its entrepreneurial culture, especially in the technology sector," said Kim Majerus, managing director of Cisco Ireland.
“Innovation can come from anybody, anywhere. This competition was about encouraging these ideas, enabling people to take that innovative idea and give them a platform to develop it.
“We were delighted to be an adviser and the sole technology provider in this project, sharing our experiences and technology to assist in this transformation approach,” she said.
Majerus added that Cisco now aims to help other countries replicate this initiative and have a number of projects in advanced planning stages.
“The ‘Your Country, Your Call’ event is a model of how online collaboration is vibrant in Ireland,” she added.
‘Your Country, Your Call’ was created by Dr Martin McAleese to find two transformational proposals that will allow the Irish economy to grow and employment to be created.
President Mary McAleese was its patron, and the initiative spanned a broad range of categories, from sports to communications and technology.