Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Eco Powered Cabinets, which was created by Hollymount native Darren Forde, has been recognised for its efforts and commitment to digital innovation at this year’s .IE Digital Town Awards.

.IE, the national registry for .ie domain names, announced the winning entries for the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 at a Gala event held at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone today.

The awards were created by .IE in 2021, as part of a broader four-year €1 million investment in the .IE Digital Town Programme encouraging the uptake and use of internet and digital technologies for businesses, citizens and communities. The awards recognise and reward digitally inspired projects run by towns and local community groups.  Each year the .IE Digital Town Awards offer a prize fund of €100,000 which is split across several categories.

Winning the .IE Digital Town Sustainable Award, Mr Forde’s project saw two eco-powered cabinets installed on Croagh Patrick, securely storing defibrillators and life-saving medications to treat cardiac arrests. The cabinets are powered by solar energy so they don’t require a main power supply and can be seen from up to 6 miles away via an infrared LED light. Heat sensors are used to monitor temperature levels which are transmitted in real-time to a mobile device. The cabinets have geolocation capability which is vital for emergency services.

Darren Forde pictured with a newly-installed Eco Powered Cabinet on Croagh Patrick.

Castlebar’s Foodie Save, a mobile App which aims to reduce food waste, was runner-up in the .IE Digital Business category sponsored by Vodafone, winning a €4,000 prize fund. The App connects the public with local businesses who wish to sell the food they have left over at the end of the day. It is a mutually beneficial service because the food products are sold at a discounted price. The project are looking to add a gamification rewards feature to the App which will reward users and incorporate preventative food wasting tips in an interactive way. Foodie Save aims to operate in all small – medium towns across Ireland within the next 3 years.

Foxford Alzheimers and Community Trust CLG project was recognised in the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 – Commended Projects for its interactive, digital games designed for seniors living with cognitive impairment, winning a €2,000 prize fund.  Purposeful play including puzzles, quizzes and arts and crafts contributes to a positive quality of life. This is provided through the digital tool Tover Table, a virtual table that is controlled by an overhead projector and can include up to six participants at once. It stimulates brain activity and support workers can keep a record of cognitive improvements for their residents. To date, over 40 families in Foxford have been helped by this service.

In total, 22 town and community digital projects were recognised at this year’s .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 – winners and runners-up across the seven main categories, three special category winners and one overall prize winner.

This year’s category sponsors included Western Development Commission, Connected Hubs, and AIB Merchant Services with Vodafone as the overall presenting sponsor.

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