26th April 2023 saw hubs across the Connected Hubs network stage open day events as part of Ireland’s inaugural Showcase Day, a day highlighting the benefits of hub working in Ireland.
With more than 317 hubs now members of the Connected Hubs network the Showcase displayed their incredible variety and regional diversity with a focus on promoting why their hub and locality are great places for remote and knowledge workers.
National hubs infrastructure
Connected Hubs is a flagship initiative led by Minister Humphreys and the Department of Rural and Community Development and implemented by the Western Development Commission. The initiative was established in 2021 to connect and deepen the remote working infrastructure across rural Ireland.
With more than 50 hubs taking part in the first Showcase Day there were a variety of initiatives for the public to attend. Some counties hosted collaborative events highlighting the range of hubs located in their county. Connected Hubs appointed a number of Showcase Day regional coordinators in a pilot model for mobilising and coordinating hubs across diverse localities. This model saw Kerry Showcase Day coordinator Maeve Lyons bring together Sneem Hub, Farranfore’s Centre for Smart Aging, Dingle Hub and the Killarney Innovation Centre together at the RDI hub in Killorglin to highlight their localities to an audience of business advisors, mentors, commercial estate agents and innovation driven enterprises considering a move to Kerry. Mayo saw the county Showcase Day coordinator Orla de Burca bring together in Belmullet the gteic hubs from Belderrig, Gweesalia, Aughleam and Greannai for a similar audience.
The North Midlands brought hubs from Leitrim (The Hive, Manor Hub, Mohill Enterprise Hub), Cavan (Cavan Digital Hub) and Longford (Co:worx) together in The Hive through the Leitrim Showcase Day coordinator Colm Keane. Donegal’s Carlene Lyttle gathered hubs from Inishowen Innovation (Buncrana), Clonmany, Malin Head, CoWork Plus @Spraoi in Carndonagh, Moville Family Resource Centre, Carrowmenagh Community Centre together in the Greencastle Community Centre for their “Inishowen Coworking Trail”. Limerick organiser Agnes Relihan brought five of Limerick’s Engine Hubs network together in Engine, Limerick, the same happened in Clare where organiser Urban McMahon brought members of the DigiClare hub network together at The Ennistymon Hub.
There was a great write up in Think Business about the national event.