Intel Labs spearheads strategy to make Dublin a smart, sustainable city

4 Oct 2012

Minister Seán Sherlock; Prof Martin Curley, vice-president Intel Labs and director of Intel Labs Europe; Prof Vinny Cahill, dean of research, Trinity College Dublin; and Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Naoise Ó Muirí

Intel Labs is working with Dublin City Council and Trinity College to kickstart the development and testing of citizen-centric services and solutions that will set the template for the sustainable connected cities of tomorrow.

Intel says the innovations delivered through what it calls a “quadruple helix” of interaction between knowledge institutions, enterprises, government and civil society will help set Dublin apart and propel it on its path to become a truly sustainable city.

As innovative solutions are developed and validated they will be used to form design patterns, which can be exported and replicated to solve similar issues facing cities throughout the world.

With more than 50pc of the world’s population now living in cities and projections showing this figure growing to more than 70pc by 2050, the need for adaptive and responsive infrastructure will be paramount to the capacity, prosperity, sustainability and livability of our future connected cities.

Smart infrastructure projects

The build-out of smart infrastructures, which will allow cities to intelligently utilise technology to adapt to their environment, will play a central role in the competitiveness of cities in the future and their capacity to grow and support sustainable living.

As part of the Sustainable Connected Cities – Dublin collaboration, Intel Labs Europe, Dublin City Council and Trinity College Dublin are already collaborating on a variety of programmes, including City Watch and City Sensing.

The City Sensing and City Watch programmes combine the use of fixed and mobile sensors to create a real-time picture of what happens within the modern urban city environment, for example, providing information on a localised flooding event resulting in disruption to citizens.

The mobile sensing component is enabled by a participatory sensing application for use on smartphones and devices, allowing citizens of the city itself to become participants in developing technological innovations that will improve their environment, transport systems and local services.

“Through establishing this exciting quadruple helix collaboration between academia, industry, government and citizens, we aim to set Dublin apart as a world-leading sustainable connected city,” Prof Martin Curley, vice-president Intel Labs, and director of Intel Labs Europe, said.

“When Dublin’s services and IT architecture is defined, tested and used to successfully develop solutions and services for citizens, we believe that these design patterns are ultimately transferable and can be exported to cities and communities across the world. Central to our collaboration will be the engagement of citizens and comprehension of the challenges they face living within a modern city, throughout the course of our endeavour we will engage with residents through a variety of channels, including some of Dublin City’s progressive programmes, such as Your Dublin – Your Voice and Dublinked.

In addition to these initiatives, the collaborators are working on a number of new project proposals and are exploring options through the EU Framework Programme 7 and Science Foundation Ireland’s Horizon 2020 agenda.

Dublin’s quest for digital distinction

“Dublin must be relentless in its quest for digital distinction. Being a digital city benefits us all – citizens, businesses and educators,” Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr Naoise Ó Muirí said. “Partnership is critical and I welcome this collaboration between Dublin City Council, Intel Labs Europe and Trinity College Dublin. By working these collaborations we can make Dublin the innovation capital of Europe.”

Prof Vinny Cahill, dean of research, Trinity College Dublin, said that enabling smart and sustainable cities is a major research theme for Trinity College that not only offers the promise of improved quality of life and resource usage for citizens, but also represents a major opportunity to deliver economic benefits for Ireland by enabling new export-focused businesses providing products and services for future smart cities.

“Working with Dublin City and Intel Labs Europe is important to ensuring that our research in this field addresses real problems and has global significance,” Cahill said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years