Building Intelligence company Safecility has been announced as winner of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) challenge of looking into innovative ways to address Fire Safety in Historic Buildings, such as those in Georgian Limerick.
The challenge was organised by Limerick City and County Council in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office Limerick, Innovate Limerick and Dublin City Council.
The company won the challenge to develop, trial and monitor innovative solutions for buildings, with the Georgian Innovation District in Limerick as the testbed location.
The SBIR programme, co-funded by Enterprise Ireland, aims to create partnerships between public sector bodies and SMEs to harness innovative ideas and develop unique solutions to specific problems. Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with the Irish public sector has launched 20 SBIR Challenges to date.
The winner was announced during the latest event in the City Engage Week at FabLab in Rutland Street, Limerick, where individuals, groups and companies are working with the local authority to map and plan for the future development of Limerick’s Laneways in the Georgian Neighbourhood.
Safecility will be awarded €59,500 out of the total original Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) challenge fund of €80,000.
Phase One of the Fire Safety in Historic Buildings challenge consisted of a mentoring session with Limerick City and County Council and its partners, concluding with a report and interview to find the most cost effective, least damaging and effective solutions to deal with fire safety.
Rosie Webb, Head of Urban Innovation in Limerick City and County Council said: “It is important that we begin to think creatively and innovatively to develop solutions posed by our historic buildings. The opportunity of this challenge is to collaborate with innovative companies to create and test products and services that will assist in solving some of the challenges of adapting these buildings to current day uses.”
“Notwithstanding the fact that a code of standards must be adhered to, these newly developed solutions will examine Emergency Sensory Lighting, Fire Door Sensors and Cavity Sensors that can then be rolled out in other building projects, helping to reduce re-development costs.”
Marguerite Bourke, Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research Manager added: “Increasing the levels of innovation in business is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and through programmes like SBIR, SMEs connect with public sector bodies to explore potential technology solutions for specific unmet needs. Two companies have completed Phase One of this competitive challenge and developed innovations to improve efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with fire safety. I congratulate the winner and its unique solution that will have potential application for historic buildings, both in Ireland and internationally.”
On winning the challenge, Cian O ‘Flaherty, CEO of Safecility said: “We are delighted to have been selected for Phase 2 of the SBIR challenge. The team in Limerick City and County Council are at the cutting edge of innovation, attempting to use data and new technologies to revitalise city centre living. We believe that Safecility – our automated building safety product – is the perfect platform to deliver innovative fire solutions for historic buildings in Limerick and internationally.”
“The SBIR process is an incredible opportunity to work with the public sector to solve difficult problems and give our start-up a head start in a globally competitive marketplace. We believe the results of the work done here in Limerick will be picked up across Europe.”
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