bDublin’s Lord Mayor Emer Costello today called for the creation of a smart green city economy. Speaking at the annual Spirit of Ireland Awards in San Jose California she said : “Today we face significant challenges in terms of the economy and public services. But these challenges are also opportunities. The challenges of today can help us rethink the way in which we run our societies and our communities. We can “green” our communities and public services thus achieving efficiency, reducing cost but also securing a more sustainable future where our footprint on this planet is more in harmony with the needs of our delicate planet eco-systems.
We can be “ smarter” in how we apply technology in business, in public services, in the home, the school, the hospital and community. By being smart in how we do things we can be more efficient , pool expertise and knowledge, and create more time in a busy world for people to be with family and one another.By being smart in this sense we can improve the quality of our lives.”
The Spirit of Ireland Award went to Bob Hennessey of Co. Tipperary for his work over the last three decades in his adopted USA. Bob has worked tirelessly to promote conservation while at the same time create jobs, provide education and secure futures for thousands of high school dropouts. The Lord Mayor as Guest of honour at the event delivered the keynote speech. In her words she acknowledged the key role played by innovators such as John Harnett of the Irish Technology Leadership Group. She welcomed the establishment of an Irish Innovation Centre in San Jose which provides a gateway for new creative Irish companies to enter the Amercian and Silicon Valley markets.
Over the last few days the Lord Mayor has led a mission of civic and business leaders to develop opportunities for co-operation around the smart green economy and the cultural industries. The visit comes against the background of Oscar nominations for three Irish companies in the creative field of animated film. The Lord Mayor told some 400 business and Irish community leaders at the Awards that future economic and social progress lies in innovative colloboration between major cities around the globe. She remarked “The economic co-operation that has existed between our two countries has shaped the economic well being of both. Over the last 24 years your companies have created hundreds of thosuands of jobs in Ireland. When people work together it is a two way street and today we are proud of the fact that Irish entrpreneurs here in Silicon valley have helped create some 90,000 jobs here.”
San Jose is the 10 largest city in America and is the capital of California’s Silicon valley. The city has pioneered partnership agreements with companies in the clean tech and smart business areas allowing them to testbed their products within the city infrastructure. Dublin has just entered into similar agreements with companies in Dublin . The objective is to provide a practical problem focused opportunity within which new products and services can be developed and tested. These products help create jobs locally and provide global commercial opportunities.