20 Sep GEC Client Fluidedge win the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge


Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland launched the €100k Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge  in March of this year which was then promoted by The GEC. 

Sarah Scannell the Cycling and Walking Officer within Dublin City Council presented the Smart Cycling Challenge at The GEC’s First Wednesday event in April.  

Open Challenges like these are a way for the public sector to engage with entrepreneurs, business, technologists and service users to come up with new solutions to the urban challenges currently faced by the Dublin Region. 

Fluidedge (Conor Cahill & Síle Ginnane) made a submission, it got shortlisted and then they were invited to present to a panel in Enterprise Ireland. On Sept 15th of this year, their idea was chosen along with four other projects to receive funding for Phase 1. 

See below for a brief description of his project ‘Liberty Bell‘:

Liberty Bell is a project conceived as a response to the request for qualitative data on actual or perceived barriers to safe cycling in Dublin.

Collecting focussed insights about the city from the perspective of people who cycle is challenging to do in the field. Using a smart bicycle bell allows this to be done safely and intuitively.

The instrument connects with an online database (built on open source software) to collect and present the data and insights to the relevant personnel in Dublin City Council, with the view that making incremental improvements to the cycling landscape will encourage new people to cycle and encourage those who currently cycle to continue to do so.

A diverse group of volunteers are recruited to bookmark times and places where they encounter issues as they cycle around Dublin – be they environmental or behaviour issues. They do this simply by ringing the Liberty Bell. A follow-up message encourages the volunteer to categorise and describe each individual issue in more detail.

The focused insights from the volunteers will allow stakeholders and influencers empathise with their experience and perspective, drawing on design methodologies like UX design and Design Thinking.

Here’s some additional media coverage: Article 1 and Article 2

Huge congrats to Conor & Síle from all of us here at The GEC and a huge thanks to Sarah Scannell for popping in to speak to our clients about this exciting challenge last April.

”The fact Sarah Scannell came in and presented here in the GEC really made me think about how to respond to the challenge. After all, it overlapped with several of my personal and professional interests. We found it reassuring to hear her say that large, medium and small businesses were all eligible to enter. It gave us confidence to make the submission and to then develop the idea into a working prototype for the presentation. 

We are the smallest of the 5 participants, but we’re already gotten very positive feedback about our project from several organisations. And we’ve our eyes fixed on getting through to Phase 2, when maybe only 2 of the 5 get to further develop their work.” ~ Conor, Fluidedge

Interested in finding out more? Please contact Conor directly or you can also take a look at the press release on a separate SBIR programme run in Ireland. 

conor-1 conor-2 conor-3

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