Ireland must foster creative entrepreneurship: DHDA

15 Oct 2009

Irish people have an innate sense of “creative entrepreneurship”, which should be tapped into as a means out of the current recession. So says the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), which today launched its ‘Best in Show’ exhibition.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Stephen Brennan, director of Marketing and Strategy with The Digital Hub, said the exhibition demonstrates the huge potential that exists for creative outputs to be transformed into practical business opportunities.

“This is the third year in a row that we have organised ‘Best in Show’,” he said.  “Each year, the works on display have had the potential to become marketable products that would earn money for their creators. 

“This type of creative entrepreneurship needs to be fostered more in Ireland.  As a nation, we have a long history of producing fantastically talented writers, filmmakers, artists and designers.  What we need to focus on now is how to turn this innate creativity into business opportunities.

“The Smart Economy has a creative side and this should not be overlooked in planning our education system and enterprise supports for the future,” Brennan added. 

A very smart bathroom

‘Best in Show’ is an annual exhibition featuring digital media work produced by graduates from colleges throughout Ireland. 

Twelve works are featured in the 2009 show, which runs from 16-23 October.  Exhibits use sound and animation, computer-generated imagery, music, photography and cutting-edge design techniques to depict topics ranging from an unlikely romance to an unplanned pregnancy. 

One design prototype on display is for a “smart bathroom”, which would have the capacity to check your health as you went about normal tasks such as brushing your teeth or washing your hands. 

“These types of designs could change the way people live in the future: imagine your bathroom mirror having the technological capacity to identify a potential health problem and immediately inform your doctor,” Brennan pointed out.

“It sounds unbelievable now, but this product design could be something that is standard in all bathrooms in 25 years time. 

Creative enterprises key to smart economy

“This type of forward-thinking around creativity and entrepreneurship is what is needed to move Ireland away from economic recession,” Brenna said. 

“Creative enterprises – such as animation and design companies and digital media businesses – employ the type of flexible, highly-skilled business models that are crucial for the development of a smart economy in Ireland. 

“Future entrepreneurial success stories will focus on individuals or small groups of people working together using the most up-to-date technologies to communicate with each other and develop their products and service offerings. 

“If we can tap into Ireland’s tradition of creativity – and marry it with our emerging expertise and skill in relation to digital media – we will hopefully see a whole new generation of creative entrepreneurs emerging” he said.

Graduates from Dublin Institute of Technology; the National College of Art and Design; Ballyfermot College of Further Education; Waterford IT; Dundalk IT, and a Digital Hub / FÁS learning programme are participating in ‘Best in Show 2009’. 

The exhibition is on in the Digital Exchange building on Crane Street in Dublin 8, and will be open from 10am until 5pm each day from 16-23 October (except at weekends). 

Admission is free of charge.  For further information, go to

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Photo: Forward-thinking around creativity and entrepreneurship may move Ireland away from recession.