Donegal community groups and projects are being called to apply for the inaugural .IE Digital Town Awards, which recognise local community initiatives that demonstrate an awareness, knowledge, use, and understanding of digital in local and urban towns in Ireland for the betterment of citizens and communities.
Open for entries from March 22, the .IE Digital Town Awards has a total prize fund of €100,000 a year across 14 categories to honour local town projects and people that have shown how digital projects have contributed to enhancements in areas such as health, tourism, education, public services, employment opportunities, citizen empowerment, and social entrepreneurship.
Eleven of the awards will be “shining a light” on digital projects, with a further three special awards recognising a Digital Changemaker, Digital Rising Star, and a Digital Hero – all of which will be decided on by independent judging panel.
For the Digital Changemaker, the judges want to see a town that demonstrates that they have taken creative digital action to create change and new ways of doing things to effect positive impacts for the whole community.
For the Digital Rising Star, the judges will be looking for a town that is an emerging talent in digital and will demonstrate the potential to be a future digital leader.
The Digital Hero, meanwhile, will be someone in the community who is an unsung hero, working tirelessly on initiatives to promote the digital enhancement of the town or a group in the town.
Award applications close at 5.00 pm on Friday, April23, with the winners to be announced at the awards ceremony in early June.
David Curtin, Chief Executive of .IE, said the .IE Digital Town programme will help Ireland’s towns and communities adapt to the realities of post-Covid digitalisation, particularly as the country emerges from the pandemic.
“Covid has pushed us all to adapt and change how we interact with each other, organise our societies, and provide goods and services. Many economic and societal changes, particularly those that have brought about greater efficiencies or improved our overall wellbeing, such as remote working and use of digital tools, are here to stay.
“The .IE Digital Town Awards want to recognise the good work and achievements that have been made, and, no doubt, will continue in the days, weeks, and months ahead,” he said.
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