- The .ie Digital Town Awards recognise and reward projects with a digital element created by town groups, local communities and individual businesses
- Prize fund of €60,000 available to support Ireland’s digital development
- Business technology platform, Square, announced as new pillar sponsor for the Awards
- Closing date for entries is Friday 1st March 2024
Thursday 8th February 2024: .ie, the trusted national registry for over 330,000 .ie domain names, has announced thatentries are now open for the .ie Digital Town Awards 2024. Now in their 4th year, the .ie Digital Town Awards shine a light on local projects that have a digital element. Town groups, community organisations, regional and national collaboration projects and individual businesses across the country are invited to enter. There is a total prize fund of €60,000 across ten categories and the closing date for entries is Friday 1st March with winners being announced at a Gala awards ceremony in Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath on Friday 24th May 2024.
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, welcomed the launch of this year’s awards, ‘Not only do these awards highlight the benefits and possibilities of digital transformation in Ireland, they are fundamental to promoting awareness, use and understanding of digital offerings for our communities, for businesses and for our citizens the length and breadth of the country. Since the foundation of the awards, it has been inspiring to see such positive change brought about in local communities across the country through digital innovation.’
Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director of the .ie Digital Town Awards Programme said ‘The .ie Digital Town Awards create a real sense of pride for towns and communities, big and small, that are making massive leaps with digital technologies. We saw a 15% increase in the number of entries we received in 2023 compared to 2022 and as we enter the fourth year of the awards it is incredibly encouraging to see entries coming in from towns and villages the length and breadth of the country’.
‘We are also delighted to welcome our new pillar sponsor Square on board this year, a digital-first organisation which shares our passion for empowering small businesses and organisations to thrive online. Square joins our long-term supporter and category sponsor, Western Development Commission.
Business technology platform Square has been unveiled as the awards pillar sponsor for 2024. Square allows business owners to sell anywhere, work more efficiently, to support and empower small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive online. Speaking about the announcement, John O’Beirne, Executive Director of Square in Europe, said ‘We are delighted to be partnering with .ie for this year’s Digital Town Awards. At Square we believe in the power of technology to bring about positive change, from small projects to large companies. We want to help all types of businesses and communities succeed on their own terms and look at what’s possible. Sponsoring the .ie Digital Town Awards allows us to help recognise and reward this digital success in all of its forms.’
The ten categories in the 2024 .ie Digital Town Awards are:
- Digital Education
- Digital Tourism
- Digital Community
- Digital Business
- Digital Sustainability
- Digital Newcomer
- Digital Rising Star
- Digital Change Maker
- Digital Local Hero
Digital Sustainability, Agri-Tech and Digital Newcomer categories were new additions to the awards in 2023.
The Digital Sustainability category recognises projects which harness digital transformation, such as enhanced connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT), to improve the environment and support sustainable business operations. The winner in 2023 was Hollymount, Mayo with Eco-powered Cabinets: Two eco-powered cabinets were installed on Croagh Patrick, to securely store defibrillators and life-saving medications to treat cardiac arrests.
The Agri-tech category recognises projects which aim to help the farming community by using digital technology to improve efficiency and profitability. Clonmel, Tipperary were the winners of this category in 2023 with the Smart Skills for Farming Communities project. The initiative was developed to help farmers use new technologies to make their work easier, save time and money as well as improving the sustainability and profitability of their farm. 60% of farmers report that there are barriers to digital training and supports. This project addresses that problem by providing very practical digital training in areas such as soil fertility technology; grassland management technology; tech for time and labour saving; and farm management systems and useful Apps. This project was also selected as the overall winner in 2023.
The Digital Newcomer category is for projects at the early stage of development that are harnessing the benefits of digital to promote a local initiative. Portumna, Galway were winners of this category in 2023 with a project to give the gift of stories to future generations by recording Family Histories.
The 2023 winner case study videos are available to view here.
The Awards are open to community organisations, town groups, regional or national collaboration projects and individual businesses who can demonstrate positive impacts of digital strategies. All categories are now open to businesses that use a digital element within their service.
Closing date for entry submissions is Friday 1st March 2024.
More information on the .ie Digital Town Awards, key dates, entry guidelines, applications and FAQ’s can be found here
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