Limerick seeking smart solutions to problems relating to re-use of city’s historic buildings

  • Limerick Historic Buildings Initiative
Mihai Bilauca, Head of Digital Strategy, Richard Murphy, Enterprise Ireland, Rosie Webb, Senior Architect, Limerick City and County Council, and Neil Kerrigan, Head Global Suply Chain SBIR Enterprise Ireland. (Pic: Press 22)

Limerick City and County Council is inviting companies to tender to develop innovative solutions to address two of the key issues relating to the reuse of historic buildings within Limerick City Centre.

Limerick City and County Council, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Dublin City Council, Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick and Innovate Limerick, has launched a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competition with €80,000 in funding today (Fri 14 Sep 2018).

The competition is looking for cost effective solutions to deal with fire safety and universal access in the ongoing use of the historic buildings to create a more sustainable development model for these historic structures.

Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative aims to create partnerships between SMEs and public bodies to develop innovative solutions to public needs through competitive challenges. These challenges are co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and the relevant public sector body. Since the first challenges were launched in 2016, the initiative has been gaining traction - 21 challenges are currently running across contracting authorities nationally.

Speaking at the launch of the competition in ENGINE, which provides a platform for engagement for all stages of enterprise, Rose Webb, Senior Architect with Limerick City and County Council said: “This is an excellent opportunity for small and emerging companies to propose innovative solutions and technologies to address the dereliction and underuse of historic buildings in the city centre.”

Successful applicants will be selected by an open competition process run in two phases (feasibility and prototyping). It is open to anyone with an idea or solution, including organisations of all sizes, tech developers, solution and service providers, universities and entrepreneurs.

Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise, LEO Limerick said: “SBIR gives a platform to SMEs with innovative ideas to actively tackle societal needs and challenges through strategic collaborations with public bodies. This is done through competitive challenges and the challenge being launched today targets important issues. I look forward to seeing the solutions coming from this challenge which has the potential to make positive impacts both here in Ireland and around the globe.”

Tom Kelly, Head of Innovation, Enterprise Ireland said, “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to collaborate with Limerick City and County Council as part of the SBIR Ireland initiative. SBIR is a proven mechanism to develop partnerships between SMEs and public bodies to develop innovative solutions that address specific public needs and challenges. Ireland, and certainly Limerick is rich in history and this is evident through our cities’ oldest buildings. I am looking forward to seeing the results of this particular challenge which will promote the longevity of our historical infrastructure by harnessing the ingenuity of innovative companies in terms of fire safety and universal access.”

Full information and the invitations to tender will be available on and See or follow @sbirireland for further information.

To find out more about the challenge, a briefing event will be held in Limerick City on 3 October, please register via Eventbrite.

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