Dublin tech is at the centre of the IoT revolution

If you’re not entirely sure what the Internet of Things is, or if you haven’t even heard of it yet, that’s alright. Gentle warning, however: you’d be advised to get on board with the concept at your earliest possible convenience because the Internet of Things, or the IoT, will change everything as we know it, including how we live and work.

Essentially, the IoT is a connection of devices to the internet, whether that’s your washing machine or your house alarm and everything will be ‘talking’ to the other. On a micro level, that might mean that your alarm clock will tell your coffee machine that it’s time to start brewing a pot when you get up; on a macro level the possibilities are infinite, including making cities smarter.

Last year a report from global management consultancy firm McKinsey forecast that the IoT market could reach $11 trillion by 2025. In Ireland, innovation cluster DCU Alpha is the vanguard of exhilarating developments in the field. It’s not your typical business park: the nine-acre research facility in Glasnevin, situated a mere 800m from the main DCU campus, plans to support 100 companies and create 800 jobs, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things. And that’s not just a great boost to Dublin’s northside; according to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, who spoke at the launch in December, it’s also “a great indication of what is possible for startup companies with access to the right supports”.

Established in late 2013, the tech cluster currently plays home to 350 high-tech jobs and 30 companies over a wide range of sectors, from connected health to energy efficiency to machine-to-machine communications.

The first big development in its expansion has been the announcement by Neosfar of 30 new jobs and an R & D facility. The company, a vertically integrated Internet of Things hardware and services provider, specialises in celluar, short range, wireless and satellite solutions. According to Neosfar’s European Managing Director Marc McCarville, its DCU Alpha base is vitally important to the company. “Locating here provides us with the space to advance our technology and grow within a research intensive hub of like minded companies,” he says. “It’s a very dynamic and collaborative environment. Already we’re doing business with two other companies based here and we have given business to two others.”

Other tenants include multinationals such as Siemans and Fujitsu, plus indigenous tech companies like Exergyn and Shimmer Sensing. Coming soon: US high-tech DIY workshop TechShop, who plan to establish Dublin’s first large-scale commercial Makerspace.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

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