Projects Funded in 2021

Successful Projects


Project Lead: Cork City Fire Department, Cork City Council

Project Title: Remotely Operated Vehicle (Robotic Vehicle)

Funding awarded: €55,000

Currently if the Fire Department come across emergency incidents such as leaking hazardous materials, gas leaks, extremely high fire temperatures, then they either have to commit persons to the high risk environment or not even enter the area if the risk is deemed too high. With the use of a robotic vehicle they could tackle incidents without the risk to operational personnel and effectively mitigate the risk and deal with incidents more successfully and effectively.

The project aims to develop a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for firefighting, moving equipment and carrying out toxic/flammable air samples.


(Tom burke and Christina Beegan)

Project Lead: Carlow Kilkenny Mental Health Services, Health Service Executive

Project Title: Dementia friendly garden

Funding awarded: €25,000

St Gabriel’s ward in St Canice’s Hospital is an assessment ward for people with severe psychological and behavioural disturbance secondary to dementia such that they cannot be managed anywhere else. Most of the recognized treatments are non-pharmacological and given many of their patients grew up in the country and get huge pleasure from pottering in the garden the Project Leads believe nature is a key intervention.

The funding will be used to create a dementia friendly garden for the patients and their families. The garden will have dementia friendly and multisensory plants, raised planters, easy grip tools and heavy furniture to support leaning that would enable people to be more independent in the garden environment.


Project Lead: IDA Ireland

In collaboration with: Enterprise Ireland

Project Title: Disruptive, emerging and sustainable technologies portal

Funding awarded: €50,000

Disruptive and emerging digital, sustainable and green technologies are transforming industrial operations globally. Industry has identified lack of knowledge and visibility around these Industry 5.0 competencies in Ireland negatively impacting their ability to quickly build capability and address enterprise needs.

The funding will be used to develop and deliver a minimum viable product in the form of an online searchable Business to Business portal for industry. This would provide visibility on the existing competencies at enterprise level needed to address this problem and would also provide a platform for multinationals to signal their specific needs. This will allow companies to identify relevant partners whilst also allowing SME’s and others to identify and respond to the industry defined opportunities.

This portal will greatly enhance the integration and deployment of disruptive and sustainable technologies into future operations ensuring future resilience, agility and competitiveness while creating new product and service opportunities.


Project Lead: Defence Forces

Project Title: DISARM

Funding awarded: €50,000

In the context of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operations, disablement is the process of breaking the electrical continuity or the explosive train of an item of Explosive Ordnance, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) or of an IED containing a Chemical Biological or Radiological payload such that it cannot function as intended. The safety of EOD operators (EODOs) in conducting disablement operations is of the utmost primacy and the risk posed to those EODOs must be kept as low as reasonably achievable. To this end, remote disablement means are utilised.

The aim of the DISARM (Disablement in SITU Alternative Remote Mechanisms) project will to design and develop a suite (6 projects) of alternative remote disablement techniques for use by EODOs to nullify the risks posed from explosive ordnance. The funding sought will be utilised to allow the expansion of the mechanical engineering design and development capability of the Ordnance School to produce prototypes of industrial standard.


Project Lead: Cork City Council

Project Title: Cargo Bike Library

Funding awarded: €45,000

Cork City Council aims to encourage more sustainable travel, particularly with retail deliveries and businesses. The project plans to establish a cargo bike fleet ‘library’. Businesses and community groups will be allowed to borrow a bike for six months on a trial scheme to see if a cargo bike can be used on a daily basis as an alternative to other modes of transport before they invest heavily themselves. Cork City Council is also planning on utilising cargo bikes for use within the City Council across various departments.

The diversity of cargo bikes is truly astonishing. Whether for business or in the local authority, cargo bikes take many different shapes and forms. Besides the cyclist, they can carry goods and people of up to 250 kg and can even be coupled with a trailer for extra capacity. Without a doubt, cargo bikes show great potential to increasingly shift away from motorised vehicles. In Europe, it is estimated that 50% of all motorised trips that involve the transport of goods in cities could be shifted to cargo bikes and bicycles. This project goal is to increase the use of cargo bikes in both the public and private sectors.


Project Lead: National Building Control Office, Dublin City Council

Project Title: Smart Inspections and Building Control

Funding awarded: €35,000

2019 saw Dublin City Council (DCC) become the lead authority for the NBCO, which provides oversight, support and direction for the development, standardisation and implementation of Building Control as an effective shared service in the 31 Building Control Authorities (BCAs).

Then in 2020, DCC become the lead authority for EU Market Surveillance of Construction Products in the 31 BCAs. DCC also lead authority for the EU Energy Performance in Buildings Regulations.
Smart regulation embraces the different actors in the regulation process allowing for a collaborative and coordinated approach to regulation- controls, not only exercised by the Building Control Authorities, but also through self-regulation and by third party suppliers, general public etc.

Smart Regulation must be supported by Smart Inspections.
Smart Inspections use a combination of onsite, virtual reality, thermal imaging and drone technology to capture leaks, missing insulation, materials, etc., which allows inspectors to take advantage of technology to allow them to see what the naked eye cannot and get into spaces that that are inaccessible and dangerous for an inspector.

This project intends to integrate the technologies in existing inspection projects in Wexford, Monaghan, Meath and the NBCO/NMSO (National Market Surveillance Office).


(Francis Shier and Audrey Farrell, Photo Credit: Mark Reddy Trinity Digital Studios)

Project Lead: The Office of Public Works

Project Title: Guidance for deep energy renovation of public sector historic properties

Funding awarded: €55,000

In the National Development Plan the Government has committed to upgrading all public sector buildings to a BER energy rating of B+. The Climate Action Plan Retrofit Goal sets a target for buildings to be upgraded to a Building Energy Rating of B2 or cost optimal. Despite historic ‘protected structures’ being exempt from Regulations for energy performance, this commitment will apply to all historic structures in the public sector, including protected structures.

There is no consolidated established methodology/structure to assess and adapt traditionally-built (pre-1940) public sector historic properties for a ‘deep energy renovation’ energy efficiency upgrade. The risks of applying energy upgrade methods used for modern construction to traditionally-built buildings include damage to both the building fabric and to the health of the building occupants.

This funding will be used to develop a guidance structure for the deep energy renovation of public sector historic properties, to ensure appropriate energy upgrade of the historic building fabric.



Project Lead: The Courts Service

In collaboration with the Irish Prison Service and Dublin Coroners Court

Project Title: Improving Justice Sector customer service offerings for people with communication difficulties though JAM Card training programme and review.

Funding awarded: €25,000

In order to achieve excellence in customer service and to be more inclusive, the Courts Service will introduce JAM card training across three pilot areas. JAM Card allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barriers to tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily. The training will be multi-faceted – a mix of eLearning, interactive training sessions (in person or digital) plus train-the-trainer.
The training will support and empower staff with the knowledge in how best to provide excellent customer Service when serving people with additional needs.

In order to ensure they hear the voice of their customers they are proposing to follow up the initial pilot phase with a round of consultation to get feedback and to identify other areas and ways in which they can better support people with additional needs accessing our services.

The funding will be used to purchase the eLearning training for each agency/organisation, train the trainer and in person training. It will also be used to purchase relevant marketing materials on the JAM card (signage, window stickers, pin badges for staff) to signal our new JAM friendly status. Funding will also be spent to engage a relevant NGO or private company to consult with customers in reviewing the pilot.


Project Lead: Tallaght Cross Primary Care Centre, Health Service Executive

Project Title: Equine Assisted Occupational Therapy

Funding awarded: €25,000

Children currently attend Primary Care Occupational Therapy in a clinic setting. Feedback from children and parents note that this can negatively impact a child’s self-esteem as they wonder why they have to attend a clinic setting and feel different to their peers. This often results in poor engagement in therapy and home programmes which therefore limits potential progress and development of skills. Intervention would often be in the form of group intervention. Unfortunately due to Covid 19 Pandemic intervention groups have been cancelled for the foreseeable.

The project will provide Equine Assisted Occupational Therapy intervention in a community setting for children attending Primary Care Occupational Therapy Services in CHO7 Dublin South West. As this will be outdoors, children will be able to participate in the programme in small groups therefore enhancing the capacity for social interaction. The movement of the horse is rhythmic, consistent, and can be sustained over time. It walks 110-120 beats per minute, providing over 3,000 opportunities in a 30 minute session for a child to accommodate his or her pelvis and influence neuromuscular development. This input cannot be replicated in a traditional clinic setting.

The funding will be used for access to the arena, horses, riding instructor and horse handlers. It will also be used for additional training required.


Project Lead: St James’s Hospital

In collaboration with: Spark Innovation Programme/NDTP and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD)

Project Title: Design Space for Public Healthcare Innovation

Funding awarded: €35,000

Funding from the Public Service Innovation Fund will be used to equip a design/maker space at St James’s Hospital (SJH) with the tools and materials needed to build and design prototype solutions to healthcare design challenges, and to subcontract the manufacture of more advanced designs.

Over the past seven years, the Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department (MPBE) at St James’s Hospital in Dublin and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) have developed a programme to enable frontline staff apply design thinking to solve frontline problems. Medical Device Design postgraduate students from NCAD and Bioengineering students from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) come on site to work with frontline staff to solve a new set of ideas each year during SJH Design Week. The Spark Innovation Programme have also supported the SJH Design Week model over a number of years to assist the further development of the best ideas.

The success of the programme has led SJH & the HSE Spark Innovation Programme to jointly support a pilot ‘Designer in Residence’ (DIR) in 2021.

The role of the DIR will be to engage with frontline staff, progress their design ideas, encourage innovation, develop and test prototypes, and to put practical solutions into use at the hospital. The funding awarded here will help support prototyping and development facilities and activities, and aims to further progress public service innovation.”


Project Lead: Cavan County Council

In collaboration with: South Cavan South Monaghan CAMHS HSE and Mental Health Ireland

Project Title: Young People and Creative Arts Therapies

Funding awarded: €30,000

Young people attending child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) struggle in the school environment. This is reflected in absenteeism, relationship struggles with peers and teachers, and unrealised potential. The focus of this project is to support these young people in personal growth and self-advocacy using creative arts therapies.

This will complement the talk therapy offered by CAMHS and improve the service.

A parallel arts-based programme will be co-produced by Mental Health Ireland with South Cavan South Monaghan CAMHS and the Cavan Monaghan Arts and Health Network for the parents and mental health staff. This programme will be adapted for teachers with guidance from Monaghan Education Centre to support young people self-advocate in the school environment. The NEPS Service will support the partners.

This project will fund the contracting of three artists and an art therapist working in co-production with CAMHS and Mental Health Ireland to support emotional awareness and personal growth for the young people. The art therapist, together with an evaluator will gather the data, support best practice, reflect on, and share the learning with the partners.


Project Lead: Dublin City Council

In collaboration with: Irish Aviation Authority, Local Government Management Agency and Smart Dublin

Project Title: Accelerating the potential of drones for local government

Funding awarded: €35,000

Drones are increasingly used by local authorities and public bodies to enhance and support operations such as emergency response, surveying and mapping, planning and enforcement, pollution control and traffic monitoring. As the drone market matures, so too do the opportunities to better use this technology to deliver safer, more efficient services.

Currently, a lack of coordination exists in how drones are being deployed across local government, and with the rapid growth of private drone operations, there is a growing need to consider how we prioritise airspace over our cities, towns and communities.

This project presents a unique opportunity to position local government as a leader in the application of drone technologies. To achieve this ambition the project aims to address a number of key challenges relating to drone operations including compliance, business models, H&S, privacy and understanding innovation potential. The funding will support the development of a series of best practice guides, frameworks, case studies, online learning materials and workshops for the sector, accelerating new opportunities and innovation potential for drones across Ireland.


Project Lead: Monaghan County Council

In collaboration with: OGCIO, Cavan County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Laois County Council, Leitrim County Council, Longford County Council, Louth County Council, Sligo County Council and the Irish Road Haulage Association.

Project Title: MyCoCo

Funding awarded: €55,000

Local authorities offer more than 1,000 diverse services to the public. Many of the services are provided using paper-based forms, payments are made by cheque and the applicant has very low visibility into the progress of their application. This project will develop MyCoCo – an online platform to provide these diverse services.

MyCoCo is like the ‘Amazon’ for Local authority services. Citizens, businesses and organisations can set up an account, browse the service catalogue, request service and add to basket, make payment, and track progress. MyCoCo will include MyGOVID and Digital Postbox offering our citizens a secure government-wide single sign-on for accessing local authority services.

MyCoCo provides Local Authorities full visibility of service offerings and provides baseline metrics that can then be used for key performance indicators. MyCoCo also facilities a sustainable and cohesive office based and remote working environment and will provide standardised staff training which will result in reduced costs and ease of movement of staff between departments owing to the familiarity of the system.
MyCoCo is a transformative solution that will provide better customer service and increase the efficiency of our service delivery.


Project Lead: Tusla – Child and Family Agency

In collaboration with: Corpus Christi Primary School, Moyross, Limerick

Project Title: “The Sky is the Limit”

Funding awarded: €50,000

Moyross is currently part of one of the largest urban regeneration programmes in the State and is a community with a strong community spirit that has overcome challenges to create an increasingly bright future.

Corpus Christi School are embarking on an ambitious journey between 2021 and 2024 to transform Corpus Christi School into a Community Partnership Network Model which is in essence the delivery of an integrated service centre on site. The school has engaged international and local Universities to put in place a theory of change, implementation plan and evaluation strategy.

The funding will be used for an Implementation Support Package – supporting further model development and documentation; capacity for data collection and data analysis; use of data to inform improvement through immediate feedback loops and to link individual outcome measures to population level outcome measures to inform a wider system impact analysis.

This along with the collaboration with Tusla and connectivity to the wider State infrastructure through the Children and Young People’s Services Committee is intended to ensure the initiative is positioned to deliver transferability, scalability and learning. It will also build the capacity of the school to participate in a planned Social Return on Investment calculation to evidence of value.


Project Lead: IMMA- Irish Museum of Modern Art

Project Title: IMMA Outdoors: From one Gate to Another: Young Fossil

Funding awarded: €35,000

In 2020, in response the public’s need for access to open spaces in which they could safely meet, enjoy the outdoors and promote physical and mental wellbeing, IMMA brought the ‘social distancing circle’ to Ireland. This innovation together with the Peoples’ Pavilion which offered free activities and events to a wide range of communities, provided IMMA with the opportunity to revitalize the museum’s role and use as a public civic space.

Building on the success of these initiatives, IMMA will scale the project, bridging architectural interventions with performance and community engagements. Through a partnership with Forerunner, a collaborative arts practice founded in 2016 by Tom Watt, Tanad Aaron and Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, IMMA aims to create a unique artistic vernacular around the IMMA site entitled Young Fossil. This will provide areas throughout the grounds which are safe spaces for families, friends, and individuals to relax and engage with IMMA’s free events. These will be a combination of bespoke seating, convivial gathering structures and demarcation on the ground, all of which will comply with COVID guidelines, and offer socially distant and structurally sound spaces for the public to spend time outdoors.

Project Lead: Dublin City Council

Project Title: Reclaim the Lanes

Funding awarded: €30,000

The area of Poppintree in Ballymun was designed in the 1970’s with Courtyard style housing. The objective of the housing scheme was to create permeability and easy access through the Courts with open laneways. Over time these laneways were gated due to anti-social behaviour and are now mostly derelict with limited access for services within the laneway.

This project will reclaim one of the laneways for the purpose of a public space using a collaborative approach with Community Groups, Local Agencies and DCC cross-departmental working group. Ongoing evaluation of this project could give real learning and scalability for the upscaling of the project not just for this housing space but for other LA housing schemes that struggle with similar derelict areas. The funding will be used for contractors and materials to work alongside the community in designing a space that will enhance the area and enable reclamation of the laneway into useful public space.


Project Lead: Maynooth University

In collaboration with: Dublin City University, The Irish Refugee Council and Dublin Castle

Project Title: ‘We are here, HEAR project’

Funding awarded: €25,000

The refugee community in Ireland is a heterogeneous community with members from over 50 different countries with varying levels of education and skill sets, yet all face extreme barriers that stand against their performance and progression. These include; lack of recognition of prior learning, discrimination, racism, language barriers, stigma, and inability to transition from life in Direct Provision. Recently, Higher Education (HE) for refugees has come into focus and recognition for the important role it plays in advancing refugees’ integration into host societies, as one of the ways that lives, and professional identities can be rebuilt and re-established.

The diverse learning, social and emotional aspects of refugees’ lives are not always made visible in policy discourse, yet understanding the impact of individual biographies is crucial to breaking down stigma, both self and societal. The ‘We are here HEAR’ project will be an outdoor and virtual exhibition of photographs taken by refugees to illustrate barriers they experienced accessing HE, alongside accompanying descriptions.

This will be a highly visible series of outdoor installations, as well as a virtual exhibition and website, which will provoke public attention and challenge stigma and stereotypes of refugees and people seeking asylum. CPD training will be developed stemming from this project, and to further support access to HE for this cohort.


Project Lead: Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

In collaboration with: CH09 Community Health Network Team, Irish Heart Foundation, HSE National Stroke Programme, Irish College of General Practitioners, National College of Art and Design and UCD Health Systems

Project Title: StrokeLINK

Funding awarded: €55,000

One in five people will have a stroke at some time in their life. Stroke happens without warning and can have devastating implications for those affected and their families. Hospital care for stroke survivors has improved dramatically over the past decade with implementation of highly effective treatments such as clot removal procedures, clot busting medications and organised stroke unit care. Still many stroke patients report that when it comes to go home they feel afraid, ill-prepared and unsure where to turn for help if they have problems. This can result in poor engagement with lifestyle advice and stroke prevention medications and, tragically for some, readmission to hospital with a further stroke.

To tackle this challenge in 2020 the Mater Stroke and Transformation teams, in collaboration with the National College of Art and Design and supported by Sláintecare, developed a unique patient empowerment programme called StrokeLINK. This programme of nurse-led human support and novel physical and digital tools were co-designed with patients, carers, hospital and community healthcare workers to not only be useful but fun and engaging.

One of the next steps in the StrokeLINK journey is to further develop these tools so they are more accessible to stroke patients and healthcare workers across Ireland by making the programme details and tools available online and easily adaptable to meet local needs. StrokeLINK also hopes to take patient engagement to the next level by incorporating personalised texts, emails and interactive care plans into the programme. We are excited to further develop the StrokeLINK programme so survivors and empowered to live well after stroke.


Project Lead: HSE

Project Title: EOLAS Online

Funding awarded: €45,000

The EOLAS Programmes are innovative learning and support programmes for people learning to live with the experience of psychosis, with a parallel programme for families/supporters. The Programmes have been developed and governed since 2010 by the EOLAS Project, a consortium of service users, family members, mental health clinicians, voluntary sector agencies, university academics and with the support of HSE managers. The Service User and Family Programmes have been co-delivered by peer and clinician facilitators around Ireland in recent years, with the support and governance of the EOLAS Steering Committee (chaired by Dr. Patrick Gibbons). The Programmes have been fully evaluated in a series of research projects carried out by Prof. Agnes Higgins and the Dept. of Nursing and Midwifery at T.C.D. and have been shown to be effective in providing needed information to participants, as well as peer solidarity and support (further information on EOLAS-related research can be accessed here.

The delivery of EOLAS Programmes around Ireland had been suspended due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. The purpose of EOLAS Online is to develop a new model of facilitation of the EOLAS Programmes for use in an online platform, deliver training to  EOLAS Facilitators on the effective delivery of the online programmes and increase access to EOLAS Online to participants around the country.