Ten thousand people, including a contingent from the ten EU accession states, will experience a full-on display of Irish technological prowess over the space of a week at the end of April.
The Government, O2, Esat BT, Eircom and Oracle are sponsoring eWeek, a Dublin Chamber of Commerce driven event which takes place between 26 April and 1 May, and coincides with the accession of 10 new states into the European Union with the signing of the historic EU Accession Treaty in Dublin.
The idea for the event was spawned out of eCity research last year by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce which revealed Dublin to be 13th out of 14 EU countries in terms of e-commerce and connectivity. The aim of the event is to highlight to Irish people and an overseas audience the level of technological innovation taking place in Ireland as well as give Irish people an opportunity to sample for themselves the practical application and benefits of technology.
It is envisaged that 10,000 people from all walks of life are expected to attend more than 50 scheduled events in the Dublin Mansion House, the Digital Hub, Civic Offices and a range of other regional locations, including Cork, Kerry, Newry and Ennis.
Examples of events taking place that week including the unveiling of the Mobhaile project that connects local authorities with local communities over internet and mobile applications like SMS, the European E-business Legal Conference, the Third Digital Media Conference, a Special Accession States Business Forum and the Coyle Hamilton e-Risk Conference.
As well as this, the Dublin Chambers of Commerce will erect a special pavilion on Merrion Square to allow people to check out a host of new technologies and applications. It is envisaged that a large number of other conferences, exhibitions, school visits, round table forums and workshops will be announced. For example, every day the Digital Hub will host a digital media workshop, O2 will unveil the home of the future and European Biometrics Forum will hold a daily conference.
Speaking at a conference this morning to unveil the eWeek initiative was the Minister for State at the Department of the Taoiseach with responsibility for the Information Society, Mary Hanafin TD (pictured). She said: “This will be a major initiative for the people of Ireland in the context of an expanded Europe. It will be significant, not just because we are welcoming these countries to Ireland, but it will be an important opportunity to showcase Dublin city and the developments in the area of IT across Ireland.
“It will be important also because it will show the accession countries how effective IT can be in enabling citizens and Government to interact with each other,” Hanafin said.
By John Kennedy