Getting smarter on cycling in the Capital

14th March, 2017

Pictured, L-R: Mick Berry, SmartCharge; Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr; Maria Gavin, Enterprise Ireland; Owen Keegan, CEO, Dublin City Council and Philip McAleese See.Sense.
  • €100k of Innovation procurement funding announced by Dublin City Council and Enterprise Ireland to help scale up cycling in the city

Four companies have been each awarded €25,000 Phase 2 funding to develop smart technology solutions to help increase bicycle usage, to gather better data to understand cyclist behaviour and also help deter bicycle theft.

Six months ago, Phase 1 of the Smart Dublin Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competition saw five small businesses receive €12,500 in funding to research and demonstrate the viability of their Smart solution. Four of these companies have now been selected to work with the city council to pilot their solutions over the next three to six months.

The chosen companies and their smart solutions are: 

  • BikeLook which monitors bicycle usage and deters and detects bicycle theft. “More cycling data and less bike crime will make Dublin safer and cleaner. Our mission is to show that bikes reduce congestion and need to be part of smart urban transportation” said Mark Bennett, CEO, BikeLook 
  • Fluidedge introducing the Liberty Bell, a bicycle bell that allows cyclists to record actual or perceived obstacles to aid safe cycling in Dublin. “There is an identified lack of data and in particular, qualitative data in relation to the city cycling experience. Cities, even those with a cultural and historical focus on cycling, need field research tools such as Liberty Bell” said Conor Cahill, CEO, Fluidedge 
  • See.Sense offers the See.Sense tracker which allows cyclists to collect anonymised crowd-sourced data that gathers unique data including the identification of road surface conditions and collision and near-miss hotspot areas, that will assist cities to design safer and smarter cities for everyone. “Dublin is a city at the cutting edge of thinking for smart cities, and we are hugely excited to have the opportunity to partner with the city to help achieve the goal of increasing cycling participation” said Philip McAlesse, CEO, See.Sense 
  • Smartcharge introduces a tracking, logging and data harvesting system for use with bicycles in an urban area aiding the cyclist in predicting the ease of a journey, safety along the way and creating a secure parking facility at the end of the journey. “We are delighted to be part of the SBIR process. We hope to use our expertise in new and exciting areas, such as the smart city projects, and to contribute to the body of knowledge in making Dublin a safer and better place to live and work” said Mick Berry, CEO, Smartcharge.

Speaking at the announcement, Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said “I really hope that the successful companies make the most of the opportunity over the coming months to work with the city and develop smart technologies that get more people cycling safely in the city. Phase 2 which comes with €25,000 funding provides the companies with a great opportunity to showcase their products and hopefully to scale up their solutions in cities across the world”.

Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland added, “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to collaborate with Dublin City Council to support the Phase 2 winners. The quality of progress made to date and level of innovation demonstrated by the companies is a testament to the value of this new type of procurement process. Our intention is to scale up the SBIR initiative through 2017 to extend to other public bodies across Ireland”.


Notes to Editor:


Background to Smart Dublin: Smart Cycle Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge

In line with a push towards a healthier, more liveable city, Smart Dublin through Dublin City Council ran a competition to seek smart, innovative and low cost solutions to increase the number of people cycling in Dublin. The SBIR challenge was a joint initiative between Smart Dublin / Dublin City Council and Enterprise Ireland which launched in March 2016. Successful applicants were selected by an open competition process run in two phases. Phase 1 involved the development of a feasibility study (€12,500 in funding) while phase 2 involves the prototyping of the concept/product (€25,000 in funding). A total fund of €150,000 covered the two phases of development. A number of stakeholders were involved in the selection process including Dublin Cycle Campaign, Enterprise Ireland, Dublin City Council National Transport Agency (NTA) and Maynooth University.


Key Stats: 
  • Smart Cycle Challenge Launched in March 2016
  • 96 Expressions of interest  
  • 23 Proposals
  • 14 Pitches
  • 5 Phase 1 winners (€12,500 funding)
  • 4 Phase 2 winners (€25,000 funding)

Smart Dublin is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve city challenges and improve city life. Dublin City Council is leading on the development of the Smart Cycle challenge 

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. It supports sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.

What is Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)? SBIR refers to the public procurement of research and development on new innovative solutions before they are commercially available. It involves different suppliers competing through different phases of development, while the risks and benefits are shared between the procurers and the suppliers under market conditions 

For further information, please contact:

Dublin City Council
Media Relations Office

+353 1 222 2170

+353 87 7400 277