Stakeholders & thought-leaders from leading orgs committed on a voluntary basis to work together & support the development of the Smart Limerick City Region.
The Limerick Digital Strategy (LDS) sets out the vision for a Sustainable Smart Limerick in 2030 to guide Limerick to a new level of digital maturity between 2017 and 2020. On launching the LDS it was quickly acknowledged that the objectives could not be successfully achieved without effective oversight and collaboration with relevant key stakeholders who were subsequently brought together to form the Limerick Digital Leaders Network (LDLN).
The LDLN consists of stakeholders and thought-leaders from leading organisations that committed on a voluntary basis to work together and support the development of ‘Smart Limerick City Region’ and LDS. The network ensures an inclusive and balanced representation by including members from 27 public & private organisations, small & large commercial enterprises, academic institutions and research centres, community and voluntary organisations and local development companies. The network represents the region with members from outside of Limerick city and its environs.
Members commit to clear terms of reference, each with an equal vote and chairperson voted on. There are 4-5 meetings annually and the agenda is members-driven ensuring continued engagement. There are clear goals and deliverables outlined which are reviewed and adapted. The process is reflective; at the first meeting of each year, the previous years’ work is reported on and reviewed.

Resources needed

Members commit on a voluntary basis and therefore relies on stakeholders giving up their time in exchange for opportunities to collaborate. A limited admin budget is available to cover meeting costs. Established in 2016 the DLN is still in place testimony to this effective and sustainable approach

Evidence of success

- Facilitated collaboration with other EU Cities e.g. €6.5m H2020 funding in +CityxChange project
- Regional initiatives commenced under LDLN such as the Digital Collaboration Centre
- Funding secured in collaboration with University of Limerick to develop a new platform for citizen engagement.
- Digital maturity of Limerick increased from Basic to Intermediate level
- Significant role in facilitating increase in no. of start-ups.
- Overseen a radical transformation of the Local Authorities

Potential for learning or transfer

Collaboration and consultation is a critical element of successful implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies. The LDLN presents a proven model of success and a clear method in how to establish a successful, effective and sustainable network through collaboration with the right stakeholders. The governance model and process followed through the development of this network can be easily emulated and adopted in partner regions.
The network demonstrates how strengths & capabilities can be built on at the local level in support of the wider regional objectives. Success lies in the fact that it is driven by the stakeholders themselves ensuring a vested interest in the success of the strategy which will filter out to peers in their sectors. The result is a more accountable, transparent, better informed and improved decision-making that reflects the needs of all society.
Main institution
Limerick City & County Council
Southern and Eastern, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
January 2016
End Date


Karen  Coughlan Please login to contact the author.