Highlights from the year at The Digital Hub
It has been a busy 2023 at The Digital Hub in Dublin 8. Fifty-four companies and organisations are now members of The Digital Hub and we have reached almost 90% occupancy across our buildings. The Bank, opened in May as a multipurpose creative space, joins the Learning Studio, iD8 Studio, Studio 2 and Bay 1 as venues for a vibrant programme of events, hosting members and many visitors.
Our community learning programmes continue to have a positive impact on young and old learners in Dublin 8 and this year, together with our partners and collaborators, we reached new learners, including those marginalised in society.
Together with our partners, we also helped to launch Beta – a new international arts and technology festival for Ireland, which will run again in 2024.
Our growing cluster of artists and craftspeople and an increasing level of people holding their events and business meetings daily at our centrally located campus bring renewed energy to our campus. While many of the technology businesses at The Digital Hub continue to work from home for most of the week, our networking events, business seminars and workshops help bring our full cohort of members together for a regular in-person catch-ups.
Below are some of the main highlights from across the year.
January: patientMPower awarded funding from the UK’s Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare scheme to carry out research investigating the clinical and health economic outcomes of digitally enabled care following lung transplantation and validate the scaling potential of patientMpower technology.
February: PhotoIreland launched a new artist-driven mentorship programme called RELAY. For its first year it invited artists of the African diaspora living in Ireland to apply. The Digital Hub provided a shared studio space for the artists, so they could develop their work and meet with the programme mentor in the runup to the PhotoIreland Festival in Summer.
March: Good Travel Software, provide a car fleet leasing management platform, with Toyota as their principal customer. Significant round raised from three Irish VCs.
April: Neuromod Devices raised €30m to fund US market expansion in what was one of the biggest fundraisings by an Irish company in the first half of the year. The Funding came as Neuromod’s Lenire device was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the US regulator, for the treatment of severe tinnitus in the US market.
July: Akara Robotics selected for the 2023/24 DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme as a company with the potential to meet London’s NHS and social care challenges. The company also wins the Innovation Award at the 20th Annual Future Health Summit in Dublin.
Total Digital won two Digital Media Awards – silver for Best Website and silver for Best in Digital Financial Services, for their collaboration with Member’s First Credit Union.
Pocket Forests were announced as an awardee of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Impact programme. They will benefit from direct funding, tailored support and training from the nine-month accelerator programme.
The Hidden Homeless Project by Alison Byrne (Bean No Tí/WildBird Studio) won an award from the Glass Society of Ireland for ‘Distinction in Glass’ as part of Sculpture In Context, which is the longest running, most prestigious sculpture exhibition in Ireland.
Niamh Donnelly, Co-Founder of Akara Robotics wins the Irish Tatler Women of the Year STEM Award 2023, while Akara Robotics make the shortlist of the top three hottest European healthtech companies in the Europa Tech Startup Awards in November.
patientMpower were recognised for their innovation for renal transplant care at the Health Tech Awards, when they received the ‘Indigenous SME — Most Innovative Product’ award.
March – December: Our campus continued to host We LOVE Markets’ monthly flea market that focuses on sustainability with vintage, slow fashion, upcycling, bric-a-brac, furniture, arts and crafts and artisan baked goods.
The Digital Hub welcomed Minister Ossian Smyth to the campus to showcase its breadth of activity and meet some member companies and organisations at the cutting edge of AI, robotics, healthtech, greentech and creativity and the arts.
The Digital Hub campus played host to the Techstars Web3 accelerator for their Dublin week, where the founders of 12 promising start-ups building the future of Web3 gathered in-person to embark on a three-month mentorship programme.
The Digital Hub hosted renowned Druid, for two months as they rehearsed a trilogy of O’Casey plays, which saw audiences experience Sean O’Casey’s work as never before, with three plays performed in one day, drawing parallels between an Irish past and an international present.
The Digital Hub repurposed a former Bank as a new versatile venue for the creative and business community. It joins Bay 1, iD8 Studio and Studio 2 as a flexible space that can be used for a wide variety of activities. An exhibition of artworks by FLUX studio members, is the first event held in The Bank. It showcased a diverse creative work including fine art painting, photography, theatre production, video production, glass art and sustainable fashion.
A Sustainability in Fashion Event and Exhibition was held at The Bank by FLUX member and sustainable fashion designer, Sharon Sweeney, who brought together fashion creators and designers, who focus on raising awareness of sustainable clothing and the effects of fast fashion on the environment.
June: First anniversary of English lessons being provided to Ukrainian refugees in The Digital Hub, supported by FIT and the Irish Red Cross — over 800 people have now availed of free classes.
August/September: The Digital Hub hosted this year’s Ideas Collective — a summer boot camp for changemakers run by STAND with the aim of developing impactful action projects for social and environmental change.
The UCD Graduate Certificate in Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship course takes place at The Digital Hub for the new academic year.
For Culture Night The Digital Hub hosts a special twilight market from We Love Markets and The Scorched Earth Trilogy, an operatic projected video and sound installation, experienced through your headphones, from Irish National Opera.
The Digital Hub provided a unique location for an immersive theatre performance at this the Dublin Fringe Festival — Blue Thunder was staged entirely within a minibus located at The Digital Hub.
The Digital Hub’s annual Pear Tree Harvest saw the local community, local educational institutions and members of The Digital Hub, gather to harvest the crop of fruit and put it to good use in jams and baked goods and learn about the importance of this historic tree.
October: A number of performances took place at The Digital Hub campus for the Dublin Theatre Festival 2023, including Pan Pan’s world premiere of History Play in The Bank.
October – December: One of the first buildings to open as office space at The Digital Hub, 10-13 Thomas Street, undergoes essential remedial work and takes the first steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings.
Our Programmes & Partners
Weekly: The D8 Surfers Club continues their Tuesday in-person gatherings at The Digital Hub. The group are guided by a tutor in their discovery of how digital technologies can benefit them in their everyday lives.
February: Screen 8, a community-driven filmmaking programme run in partnership with the Dublin International Film Festival, continued to work with over the over 60’s in Dublin 8. Their short documentary — Heart of Dublin — premiered as part of the Film Festival.
The National College of Art and Design in partnership with HSE Spark and The Digital Hub, launched the first NCAD Design Lab, dedicated to the research and design of new health-based solutions and driven by collaboration with industry, academia and partners in the wider community.
Eighteen young people from Dublin 8 celebrated their completion of The Liber8 Music Project — a 10-week creative programme in which they were immersed in music and digital media while acquiring 21st century skills necessary for future careers. A showcase gig was held at BIMM Dublin and it was for many the first time to perform live on-stage in front of family and friends.
Since 2018 The Digital Hub Award recognises one outstanding final year project from students of Creative Digital Media at TU Dublin Blanchardstown. The 2023 award went to Wiktoria Rogalska for her final year project — The Unseen World Of Dreams — a 3D animation that brings the viewer on a journey of dreams from visually impaired people.
June: Successful joint bid announced to the SFI Grand Challenge fund with Tyndall Institute. The research project will see the development of novel wireless charging technology which will form an important part of the provision of 6G infrastructure.
The third call for pilots in the Smart D8 programme received a record number of applications and four successful pilots focusing on menopause, physical rehabilitation, exercise and sleep apnea got underway.
Robo Hub, a new pilot summer camp for young people, is launched by The Digital Hub. The programme instructors, robotics engineers from Trinity College Dublin, guided young people through the process of designing, prototyping, and implementing their very own weather sensors, while hopefully inspiring a journey into the world of engineering.
The Digital Hub and Smart D8 join forces with CONNECT, the SFI Research Centre for Future Networks, and Dublin City Council on ‘Design Your Future City’ — a free week-long programme for Transition Year students that will run in early 2024 to explore how technology can support people to tackle health and well-being challenges.
The Digital Hub, the Open Doors Initiative and Pathways to Progress collaborate on a ‘Start Your Business’ series of masterclasses. Delivered by field experts the seminars at The Digital Hub will help migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers to start and scale their business in Ireland.
Smart D8 is an Innovation Award finalist at the World Smart City Awards held as part of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023 in Barcelona.
Beta, a new international arts and technology festival is held at The Digital Hub. The Festival, in partnership with curator and creative producer, Aisling Murray and with the support of Science Foundation Ireland, invited members of the public to engage playfully and critically with new technologies, essentially beta testing ethical issues facing society.
For Science Week, The Digital Hub hosts Outlandish Theatre Platforms Global Desires Project, which was co-created, with performers and scientists, and a Creative Coding workshop delivered by Hologen for students and teachers from a local school.
If you are a like-minded organisation looking for flexible office space, artists studio or flexible workspaces for your meetings, events, demos and rehearsals please get in touch with us to learn how we can help.