FutureVision – Research, Innovation and Learning Zones

Exploration, Discovery, Understanding

Nobody would be surprised to ramble into a Park and find there facilities for Sport, a Garden or two, maybe a Playground. What will distinguish this Park is the inclusion of a range of facilities and functions addressing aspects of Life that will be increasingly to the fore as  we move into the uncertainties and change that characterize the new Century.

We should design, not for what we are, but rather design for what we wish to be’  is an aphorism that strikes a chord in this regard. We are seeking to design something that goes far beyond the traditional Park, more than a well-manicured field. To some extent we are inclined to this way of thinking by recent events, which serve to highlight the fragility of our Society’s infrastructures, both globally and at national level. There is a growing sense that maybe some of the predictions of future challenges around climate change, economic turmoil and changing World order are not overstating the case after all. Dealing with these challenges will call for a step-upgrade in performance at the International, National and Local levels, to break through the ‘high-banked clouds of resignation’, to resolve problems that may now appear intractable.  Flowing from these realisations is a new awareness of the value of engaged, informed and resilient Communities, and it is in designing and building such Communities that this aspect of the project presents great opportunities.


This area would comprise several units, each addressing aspects of their domain from both an Educational and a Commercial perspective.  Some topics we are exploring so far are:

  • STEAM Park (S Science, T Technology, E Engineering, A Arts and  Music, M Mathematics) providing educational and research infrastructure and content in the sciences and creative arts, in a collaboration with Third-level institutions and MNEs.
  • Health and Wellness centre
  • Remote working Hub providing technology services beyond those normally available on home devices.
  • Environmental Research and Education centre and a recycling facility
  • Innovation/Start-up hubs
  • A Communities Studies centre

This is an ambitious proposition, in effect seeking to incorporate many of the elements of the new post-pandemic Ireland in what would be a test bed for what we will need in order to prosper in the longer-term. We have no illusions that it will be a short-term project; elements may begin to emerge in three-five years, but it may not be complete until the next generation have taken over the baton, maybe fifteen years hence. Today’s imperative is to get the shape of the concept right for the long-term.

The FutureVision Research, Innovation and Learning Zone will seek funding and other support from Government and Industry, and will develop links with Third Level institutions here and overseas. Reciprocally, it will over time expect to provide a commercial return from most but not all of it individual elements.

The Steam Park, The Innovation Zone and the Remote Working Hub clearly have a strong Commercial dimension, and funding will be sought from appropriate parties to get involved in developing these. Others, such as the Community Studies Centre, The Health and Wellness Zone, The Environmental Zone, will find complementary interested parties in Universities at home and abroad, within Industry and with Government bodies.

These are first thoughts for now. If you wish to comment or add ideas, do so here. The key thought is that we are providing forums and facilities to experiment, learn and practice new approaches to new challenges that Fortune frames for Society.