What are the Smart Ageing Innovation Awards?

The Smart Ageing economy is a new, emerging and growing global economy related to consumers aged 50+.   The term includes all economic activities that concern older adults and meet their demands and requirements.  

The Smart Ageing Innovation Awards aims to recognize and celebrate innovative products, services, and technologies, across multiple sectors that help to improve the quality of life of consumers aged 50+, and so raise awareness of and strengthen the Irish Smart Ageing Economy.  They will illustrate the breadth of the consumer markets and the size of the opportunities available for entrepreneurs, investors, public authorities and civil society.

Please click here to see more videos from our shortlisted finalists about their business’s.

Closing Date for Application – 21st September 2018.

Key Dates


Stage 0 – Awards Open

Stage 1 –  Closing date of receipt of applications

Stage 2 – Shortlisting of applications to 3 per category 

Stage 3 – Pitching – Winner Selection 

Stage 4 – Awards Event 


25th April 2018

21st September 2018

28th September 2018

3rd  October 2018

24th October 2018

Smart Ageing Innovation Awards

Peter Mangan. Winner of the Smart Ageing Innovation Awards 2017

Individual finalists on the award night.

Who can apply?

The Smart Ageing Awards celebrate the new world of Smart Ageing Innovations and are open to submissions from start-ups and small businesses with 30 employees or less who have designed and developed products and services that enhance the lives of any age group over 50.

Innovative solutions are welcomed from across the following areas that make up the Smart Ageing Economy.Outlined below are the 5 categories for this year’s Smart Ageing Innovation Awards with examples of this years category winners.


Ageing is a fact of life and with it comes certain senior health issues.  In this category we are looking to recognize businesses delivering innovative solutions across a number of areas e.g connected health, diagnostics, data analytics, medical devices, Improved disease management, bio-pharmacy, well being products and services.


Eating a well-balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy as you age.  In this category we are looking to recognize businesses that have developed functional and nutritional food promoting specific health benefits and enhancing wellbeing.


The tourism sector is emerging as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ageing process. In this category we are looking to recognize businesses that are delivering innovative travel and recreational experiences e.g. bundled tourism products tailored to the older traveler segments including gyms, and recreational activities.


This award will recognize businesses that are delivering innovative solutions that improve the quality of life and enable people to stay in their homes independently.  Examples include integrated technology into housing developments, ambient assisted living products, smart housing adaptations, furnishings and design, and housing developments catering to the needs of all of us as we live longer.


Mature Entrepreneurship in on the increase across the world. The only criteria is that you will have been aged 50+ when starting your business. This award will recognize mature entrepreneurship across all sectors (not just the smart ageing sector). You can be an established small business or an emerging start up and at the early stages of developing your business.

Evaluation Criteria

Step 1

The following evaluation criteria will apply to rank the applications.

Application – to apply you should meet the following criteria
∙         Your business is registered and operating on the island of Ireland
∙         Your entry is category compliant
∙         You are compliant with any relevant industry and/or legal standards
∙         Your application is within the application timeline


Step 2

Category Short Listing – 3 finalists per category and applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

∙         Originality of Innovation
∙         Market Impact (e.g. completely new to market)
∙         Innovation Management (project management)
∙         Business Impact (e.g. efficiency levels, sales growth etc)
∙         Potential for Sustainability & Development (next steps and potential impact)

Shortlisted companies will be announced on the ISAX website around the beginning of October.


Step 3

Category Winners & Innovation of the Year

The 3 short-listed finalists from each category will be invited to present their innovation to the final judging panel. The category winners will be selected on the basis of their presentation and their overall application. The Final Judging Day is set for 4th October, so please ensure the representatives from your organisation who will be making a presentation to the judges, are available on that day. If you are shortlisted, your allocated presentation time slot will be sent to you by 30th September 2018.

All winners will be announced at an awards event which will be held on Wednesday 24th November 2018 in Dublin.

These will include a winner from each category, as well as the overall ‘Smart Ageing Innovation of the Year’ award.

Meet the Judges


Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland

Dave has spent 17 years in Retail Banking in Ireland after graduating from Trinity College. David also holds an MBA from Manchester Business School.
He has extensive experience across digital banking, the payments industry and innovation in financial products. He has been responsible for Credit Card, Deposits and Current Account product strategies and has delivered multiple new retail products to the Irish market.
His recent role in Bank of Ireland looks at long term planning, consumer behaviour changes, market planning and incubation and the integration of fintech and innovative start-ups. He is responsible for Bank of Ireland workbench and Startlab initiatives and is a member of the Fintech Payments Association of Ireland.


Manager of Female Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland

As Manager of Female Entrepreneurship, Johnston manages Enterprise Ireland’s key initiatives to support Female Entrepreneurs. These initiatives are part of a drive to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set up and led by female entrepreneurs. Johnson has worked for Enterprise Ireland since 1995 in various roles, which include Regional Development, Commercial Evaluation and, most recently, as Senior Development Advisor with the High Potential Start up Team. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree and a MBS from Liverpool John Moores University. With 20 years of experience working with indigenous companies across multiple sectors Johnson has significant experience in strategic mentoring, financial analysis, operational strategy and business plan implementation.


Head of Health Sector, Bank of Ireland

Hilary Coates joined Bank of Ireland in 2014 as Head of the Health Sector. In this role, Hilary is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the Bank’s strategy in this key business area. Hilary has extensive senior clinical and executive national and international experience in the health and regulatory sectors. She originally qualified as a nurse from St Vincent’s University Hospital and worked in a variety of clinical and executive roles including Director of Nursing. Hilary has an MBA from Smurfit Business School and post graduate qualifications in Healthcare Management, Corporate Governance and Risk Management. Recent roles include Head of Healthcare Regulation in HIQA, Patient Safety Advisor to the World Health Organization and Academic Programme Director in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.


Head of Seniors Banking, Bank of Ireland

Dawn Bailey joined Bank of Ireland as Head of Banking for Seniors in June 2017. She is a seasoned commercial marketer with extensive client, agency and consultancy experience. Most recently as Sales and Marketing Director for Dublin Bus she was instrumental in the transformation of Dublin Bus from a static semi-state into the most recognisable Dublin brand through all customer touchpoints - across physical infrastructure, fleet, communications and digital. Dawn led the development of the Dublin Bus real time app, the migration from paper based to smartcard ticketing and the introduction of social media as a customer service tool – at all times putting the customer at the heart of the business. In Bank of Ireland her role is to lead the bank’s strategy, proposition development and service delivery for older customers, with a view to creating a truly age friendly bank.


Delta Partners

David Bowles joined Delta in 2012 where he focuses primarily on ICT opportunities in Ireland and the UK. Following time at IBM and Merrill Lynch, David joined McKinsey & Company Consulting where he advised a wide range of clients including internet start ups, mobile phone operators and private equity firms. After McKinsey, David joined the senior management team of ezetop as the Head of Online and Head of Product before leaving to advise a number of multi-nationals and start-up companies in the areas of online sales, technology and fund-raising. David received a Masters in Business from Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin (2007) and a BA Mod in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin (2006).


Founder and CEO TechIreland

Niamh Bushnell is the founder and CEO of TechIreland, a not for profit established in Dublin in January 2017. TechIreland maps and tracks all product innovation in Ireland and is on a mission to tell the story of Irish innovation to the world. Prior to TechIreland Niamh was Dublin’s first Commissioner for Startups where she developed a platform, an image and a voice for Dublin as a great tech city. Niamh founded the Dublin Globe publication, the #1stFridayBrekkie, and Mentoring for Scale, a monthly mentoring event for scaling companies. Niamh has been in the technology business for over two decades and spent 16 years in NYC where she built two startups (TechResources and Idirus) and became a mentor and angel investor at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator - ERANYC. Her first company Pan Research was founded in Dublin in 1996. Niamh is on the board of FoodCloud and New Ireland’s Millennial Board.

Apply now to the Smart Ageing Innovation Awards