SoftBank makes smart city IoT partnership with Dublin official

26 Jul 2018

From left: Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan with Hidebumi Kitahara, vice-president of SoftBank’s global business strategy division. Image: BeachHut PR

Japanese tech giant SoftBank will be working on some smart city IoT solutions in the Irish capital.

Members of the SoftBank team today (26 July) attended an announcement at Dublin City Hall, detailing the company’s arrival to Dublin City Council’s (DCC) smart city testbed.

Vice-president of the global business strategy division at SoftBank, Hidebumi Kitahara, spoke at the launch: “The development of an innovative IoT platform is a key strategy for SoftBank and we are delighted to collaborate with Dublin, with its unique smart city testbed, supported by a cluster of technology companies and an open and collaborative approach from Dublin City Council.”

Kitahara said he hoped the partnership would lead to the deployment of technologies to make the lives of citizens and companies easier and more productive.

First European project for SoftBank

The partnership with Dublin is SoftBank’s first European IoT outreach project. It already provides a large amount of services to local authorities in Japan and hopes to address the particular needs of the Irish capital using its expertise.

SoftBank will be piloting its global IoT platform in Dublin city, aiming to build IoT solutions designed to scale that can be easily transferred to other cities.

Dublin was chosen by SoftBank due to its open approach to smart city development developed through the Smart Dublin programme. DCC, alongside the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Connect centre for future networks based in Trinity College Dublin, provides ample opportunities for the firm to pursue its IoT strategy and smart city developments in the capital.

Owen Keegan, chief executive at DCC, said: “Our smart city programme has gone from strength to strength, with many of the world’s leading companies now collaborating with Dublin to deliver technologies that can transform city life.

“SoftBank has a great vision for the city of the future and we are proud to be the first city outside Japan to work with them to deliver solutions for our citizens and those across the globe.”

Key areas

The partnership will focus on sustainable mobility, environment, disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as safety and security.

‘Smart Docklands’ is DCC’s smart city testbed and has unique potential as a smart city district that is also home to many of the world’s leading global technology companies. Smart Docklands is the result of a collaboration between DCC and the Connect centre.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects