Office of Public Works and Enterprise Ireland launch a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge to create a Virtual History of Dublin City

30 May 18

The Office of Public Works (OPW) in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland today launched the €160k Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge to create a virtual history of Dublin City.

The Office of Public Works supported by the SBIR is inviting companies to tender to develop a feasibility study for Virtual and Augmented Reality Solutions to simulate the following user experiences for education and cultural tourism

  • Visualisation and 3D walkthroughs within virtual historic buildings and environments
  • Information and knowledge extraction within the virtual environments relating to historic documents and objects
  • Time-line visualisation of changes in historic fabric and building styles

The potential to generate intelligent virtual models of historic buildings and their environments has greatly improved and is mainly due to the advances in data capturing technologies and new methods for 3D modelling.

This virtual history project will add intelligence to, and build on, existing data sets of historic 2D mapping and in particular aerial and terrestrial laser and image based surveys to build Virtual and Augmented Reality Solutions. For the purpose of this SBIR challenge, the medieval tower in Dublin Castle has been chosen as the single test bed location for the Virtual and Augmented Reality User Experiences.

The SBIR challenge is a joint initiative between the Office of Public Works and Enterprise Ireland and is open for applications from 30th May until 12 noon on 30th July 2018. Successful applicants will be selected by an open competition tender process run over a number of phases. Interested parties can apply on E-Tenders until the closing date of 30th July 2018.

Maurice Buckley, Chairman of the Office of Public Works said, “I am delighted to announce that the OPW and Enterprise Ireland have joined together to deliver this wonderful Challenge, which will in time enable the visualisation of the rich history and every changing landscape of Dublin City. I am pleased to say that OPW and Enterprise Ireland are providing the providing the funding for the development of this Challenge through SBIR Ireland”.

Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Global Business Development, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland’s SBIR initiative is about harnessing the potential that lies within SMEs to create new solutions to specific needs and challenges, working in partnership with public bodies. This particular challenge, in collaboration with the OPW, to create a virtual history of Dublin is one of 11 new SBIR challenges being launched in 2018. We look forward with anticipation to the exciting new concepts and innovative ideas that will emerge as a result of this challenge.

Please see E-Tenders Website for full details on the SBIR.


For further information please contact OPW Client Services and Communications at 087 147 0617 or

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Notes to Editors

Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative aims to create partnerships between SMEs and public bodies to develop innovative solutions to public needs through competitive challenges. These challenges are co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and the relevant public sector body. Since the first challenges were launched in 2016, the initiative has been gaining traction - 10 challenges are currently running across contracting authorities nationally, with 11 new challenges launching in 2018. See for further information.

An information/briefing session in relation to this Challenge will be held on 21st June 2018. Those interested in attending this briefing session should email to confirm your attendance.