Dogpatch launches 2050 sustainability programme to drive innovation

2050 Accelerator element of the programme will be open to start-ups located in Ireland and overseas

Dogpatch has launched a new sustainability programme that aims to position Ireland as a global leader in innovation in the field in the coming years.

The programme, dubbed 2050, will consist of two elements: the 2050 Accelerator and the 2050 Ecosystem.

The 2050 Accelerator, which has been set up in partnership with Kerry, ESB and Coillte and with the support of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, will see 12 organisations attempt to solve a number of sustainability challenges set out by the industry partners, working towards proof of concept. It will be open to start-ups located in Ireland and overseas. Successful applicants will have access to Ireland’s sustainability infrastructure, including wind farms, dairy farms and forestry through the industry partners.

An international philanthropic organisation focused on environmental protection, the Grantham Foundation, will sponsor a stream focused on supporting start-ups developing carbon-dioxide removal solutions. Dogpatch director of innovation David Power said the organisation has identified a number of start-ups active in the sector that may have the skills needed, and would also issue an open call for participants.


“We’re going to bring the cream of the crop to work with Kerry, Coillte and ESB, and in return, they’ll get access to their assets,” he said. “You’ve got this perfect marriage of a start-up that needs to accelerate what they’re doing and you’ve got this big company that needs innovation. A big company can help them scale what they’re doing, and if we can figure out the answers to some of these problems or solve them here, we can export them to the world and have that larger impact beyond their own borders.”

Mr Power said the strength of Dogpatch’s network would help the start-ups get closer to their goal. “[Dogpatch’s] size is our strength. We’re hyper-connected across this island, and we can pretty much pick up the phone to anybody. That’s very useful for everybody in sustainability – we can get them the resources they need, we can get them the assets they need. That was the genesis of the idea.”

The second part of the programme, the 2050 Ecosystem, will create a network of companies, institutes, government, academia and start-ups to help spark innovation in sustainability, holding talks, workshops and round tables. Dogpatch will work with a network of innovation hubs across the county – RDI Hub in Kerry, Republic of Work in Cork, Galway’s Portershed and GreenTech HQ in Wexford – to develop an innovation ecosystem for sustainability.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist