Digital champions and towns in Donegal called to enter ‘The .IE Digital Towns Awards 2022’
People and towns across Ireland are being called on to enter the annual .IE Digital Town Awards 2022, an initiative of .IE, the managers of Ireland’s trusted online .ie address which celebrate the digital achievements of local towns and citizens across the country.
Now open for applications, the .IE Digital Town Awards has a total prize fund of €100,000 across 14 categories to honour local towns and people that, through digital projects and innovation, have contributed to enhancements in areas such as e-health, digital tourism, community, education, and digital business.
Welcoming the launch of this year’s awards, Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director, .IE Digital Town Programme said: “While the past two years have undoubtedly challenged us all, there are lots of great examples of how communities and community leaders have stepped up and adopted new ways of thinking and doing, with digital tools and innovation helping them to not only survive but thrive.
“Whether this is creating an online visitor experience to drive tourism in a town, or a digital voucher scheme to encourage local commerce, there are many inspiring examples of everyday champions and digital leaders in our communities that are transforming local life and society in innovative and creative ways.
“The ambition of our awards is to recognise these people and projects that have created opportunities against the odds, as well as inspiring and motivating others to see how digital tools and technologies might benefit their towns and communities too.
“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we are excited to see how towns and communities have continued to embrace digital tools and are applying innovative digital-first thinking with transformative results for citizens, business, and local society. Last year’s winners set the bar exceptionally high, and we are looking forward to once more shining a light on the towns, digital champions and smart ideas that are breathing new life into communities and their people.”
“We are delighted to welcome our category sponsors Western Development Commission, Connected Hubs, Vodafone and AIB Merchant Services”
Last year, Dingle Peninsula was the overall winner for its innovative project ‘Reimagining Creatively Through Digital’. The focus of the Dingle team was on promoting innovation and imagining new ways of doing things through digital.
Among the highlights of the Dingle Peninsula project was a pilot initiative to increase sustainability and productivity by collecting ‘real-time’ data using sensor technology such as current and predicted weather and soil conditions, and grass growth rates. Localised ‘realtime’ weather data also enabled tourism providers to tailor tourist packages based on changing weather conditions.
Categories and Awards
Ten of the awards will be digital projects in the areas of education, tourism, health, business, and community, with a further four special awards recognising a Digital Changemaker, Digital Rising Star, Digital Local Hero, and an Overall Winner, which will be decided on by an independent judging panel.
The judging panel for this year’s special awards categories will be looking for digital leaders who show a genuine passion and ambition for their town or community, are self-motivated, and who apply digital thinking to problem solve with creative solutions and innovative ideas that ‘disrupt’ and enhance towns and communities for everyone’s benefit.
Finally, the Digital Local Hero award will recognise the unsung heroes nominated by their peers for their tireless work on community-focused and digitally-led initiatives that make a town or a group in the town better. Applications are open now and will close at 17.00 on Friday, 25 March 2022. The winners and runners up will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on 8 June 2022. The .IE Digital Town Awards is part of a €1 million investment announced by .IE in 2021 and to be delivered over four years, with a particular focus on digital enhancement and adoption in Ireland’s towns as part of its overall .IE Digital Town programme.