Cork County Council, Cork Smart Gateway and Enterprise Ireland launch €80k Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge




Seed Fund Challenge invites applicants to deliver innovative ways to help Cork’s elderly citizens maintain a good quality of life.


Cork County Council together with the Cork Smart Gateway initiative and the Age Friendly Alliance launched the €80k Small Business Research and Innovation (SBIR) Challenge with Enterprise Ireland today.


Through this challenge call, Cork County Council wishes to explore low cost, innovative and accessible solutions that will help all of its older citizens to maintain a good quality of life and enable them to remain and feel secure in their home.


Solutions sought should address one or more of the effects of being / feeling isolated and insecure and in particular increase the resilience of older people to respond to the impacts of critical events.


The SBIR challenge is a joint initiative between Cork County Council and Enterprise Ireland and is open for applications from today 13th April until 2nd June 2017. Successful applicants will be selected by an open competition process run in two phases. The competition is open to any organisation, university and service providers.


Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Seamus McGrath welcomed the Councils participation in this challenge; noting that “our primary objective as an Age Friendly County is to enable older people to live as independently in their own homes for as long as they wish. We want our older people to remain active and feel safe, secure and respected in their communities”.


James Fogarty, Divisional Manager, Cork County Council and Chair of the Cork Age Friendly County Alliance confirmed that: “This SBIR call complements the work of our Age Friendly County Alliance and reflects the advancement of our Age Friendly County Strategy launched last year which aims to make Cork a great place in which to live and grow old. One of the challenges highlighted through our work with the Age Friendly County Alliance is the sense of insecurity and isolation that some elderly people can experience; in particular at times of distress. This SBIR challenge will enable us to provide seed funding to explore innovative solutions that could help to alleviate this.


Kevin Sherry, Executive Director Global Business Development, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to collaborate with Cork County Council as part of the SBIR Ireland process. While new to Ireland, this is an internationally proven mechanism to develop innovation that could ultimately have positive economic and societal benefits. Through this challenge call, we can harness the ingenuity of innovative companies and seek, in a systematic way, to develop unique solutions for particular challenges faced by Cork’s elderly population that can be applied in everyday life”.

Interested parties can apply on E-Tenders until the closing date of the 2nd June. An information session will be held on the 28th April in the Cork County Council 2 – 4pm.


About Cork Smart Gateway

A smart agenda is being developed in Cork, one which builds on the existing assets, attributes and experiences in the region and will help position Cork as a ‘World-Class Smart Region’.

Established by Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute, the Cork Smart Gateway will pursue the delivery of this smart agenda and aims to enhance the reputation of Cork as an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest –


About Age Friendly Cork County Alliance


The Age Friendly Cork County Alliance aims to facilitate increased participation of older people in the social, economic and cultural life of the community. This Alliance brings together the older residents of Cork and the key service providers from the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors to identify opportunities and work together to make Cork an excellent place in which to live, work and grow old.


About Enterprise Ireland:

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. We work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.

For more information, please contact: Claire Davis, Programme Manager, Cork Smart Gateway,



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