A €70,000 fund has been set aside for implementing ideas from businesses, universities or organisations to tackle graffiti in the city centre.
Cork City Council, together with the Cork Smart Gateway initiative, has launched the €70,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge with Enterprise Ireland yesterday.
It comes in the wake of a spate of graffiti throughout the city centre, with homes and businesses in Barrack Street, North Main Street and other areas all hit in recent months.
The seed fund challenge invites applicants to deliver innovative ways to prevent and mitigate against instances of graffiti across Cork City.
Through the challenge, Cork City Council is seeking low-cost innovative solutions which enhance the cleanliness of the public realm and specifically address the challenges associated with graffiti while contributing towards Cork’s ambition as a smart city.
Solutions sought should decrease the incidence and reoccurrence of graffiti tagging in Cork City and reduce the time and cost associated with removing graffiti from all types of building surfaces.
The SBIR challenge is a joint initiative between Cork City Council and Enterprise Ireland and is open for applications from 12 noon on April 4, 2018, until 12 noon on June 1, 2018.
Successful applicants will be selected by an open competition process run in two phases.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “The impact of graffiti has negative effects not only for homeowners and businesses in the affected areas but also for tourists and visitors to the city.
“The cleanliness of the public realm is a key factor in how safe a tourist or a citizen feels exploring the city and also plays a role in determining their enjoyment of the city.”
Cork City Council Director of Services Environment & Recreation, David Joyce said: “This SBIR call will complement the work of Litter Management & Street Cleaning divisions and help enhance the enjoyment and experience of all users of Cork’s public realm including residents, tourists and businesses when in Cork City”.
Executive Director, Global Business Development, Enterprise Ireland, Kevin Sherry said: “While relatively new to Ireland, SBIR is a proven mechanism to develop partnerships between SMEs and public bodies to develop innovative solutions that address specific public needs and challenges. This particular challenge aims to harness the ingenuity of innovative companies in the prevention and mitigation of graffiti. Solutions arising from this challenge will ultimately result in positive benefits for societies, not just in Ireland, but around the globe."
Interested parties can apply on E-Tenders until the closing date of June 1, 2018.