Situated along the leading edge of Europe, Ireland’s Western Region is a region of contrasts, home to a global med-tech hub, an acknowledged industrial expertise in sensors and mobility and a burgeoning creative economy. The Western Region is comprised of the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare and is a largely rural region and includes some of the most remote parts of the country. In fact, 64.7% in of the population live outside of towns of 1,500 people or more and that’s why there is a particular focus on the needs of, and opportunities for, more rural and peripheral areas.
In 2016 there were nearly 55,000 enterprises registered in the Western Region which makes it home to 1/5 of all of the enterprises in Ireland. The majority of these are micro-enterprises. The region is focused on innovative approaches to address challenges of balanced, just, and inclusive economic development, to create opportunities for sustainable and compact growth.
“The CHERRIES methodology has provided with a stimulating reference framework for Responsible Research and Innovation, enabling us to tackle our regional challenges, in a more inclusive and participatory way. As an aspiring region of innovation, that aims to work with communities and citizens to create living lab testbeds to test new solutions, we see a concrete added value to the ways in which we address the real-world issues, such as that of providing modern-day high quality healthcare service delivery to a dispersed rural population”.