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Cork’s Smart Ambition

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Investing in innovative solutions to drive a smarter and more sustainable region


round the world governments are investing in innovative technologies and collaborative solutions to make their regions smarter, more sustainable and more attractive. A number of key trends are driving this global movement including increasing urbanization, digitization, scarcity of resources and globalization. There is also an increasing awareness of the benefits that smart cities and regions can bring, including their ability to help meet sustainable development goals, ensure economic development, improve resilience and provide a higher quality of life. Responding to these global drivers, the Cork Smart Gateway (CSG) was established to develop and drive a smart agenda for Cork. This initiative was developed by Cork City Council,


Cork County Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute. The CSG works collaboratively with key industry, academic, public and citizen stakeholders to identify and deploy smart solutions which will enhance the reputation of Cork as an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest. While there is no absolute definition of a smart city or region, it is generally agreed that the most important building blocks of a smart region are its smart citizens. Cork has a very high caliber of people, companies, universities, and entrepreneurs, which are the key ingredients of a smart region. This strong base will help Cork to take advantage of new opportunities to improve the region and help it to become smarter and more sustainable. Engaging with citizens has been a priority of the CSG since its launch in May 2016.

Reflecting this, the first activity of the CSG was to undertake a citizen engagement survey of 3,600 Cork citizens to better reflect their needs when developing the Cork Smart Gateway program of activities. The continued prioritization of Citizen Engagement is reflected in the work of Cork’s two Local Authorities. In May, Cork County Council and Cork Institute of Technology launched Ireland’s first public service design center called Service Republic to create better public services by engaging end users in the design process. The center’s activities also compliment the County Council’s existing e-governance engagement system which enables citizens to access over 79 different online services. Cork City Council has also launched the ‘Cork City Now’ community messaging system. This system informs registered

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