Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today met with Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, as it called on Government to foster more ambitious policies to place Ireland as a globally digital leader that delivers jobs and growth. Failure to adapt sufficiently to an increasingly digitalised global economy will erode Ireland’s capacity to compete globally.
Speaking as the group presented the Minister with the ‘Accelerate Ireland’s Digital Ambition’ manifesto (see attached), Ibec Head of Digital Economy Policy Erik O’Donovan said:
“Brexit, uncertainty around differing international policy perspectives on enabling the new knowledge economy and potential inaction are all risks to safeguarding our economic model and wellbeing. Digitalisation is a positive feature of our economic model, but it must be accelerated to insulate us against risks to our success. Accelerated digitalisation at national level and in EU Single Market could enhance our productivity and add a further €27 Billion and 140,000 net jobs to our economy.
“We can accelerate our digital ambition through strategic investment in our infrastructure and people. Bricks and broadband are necessary to enable connectivity and create spaces where people and ideas can mix. Successful rollout of the National Broadband Plan is essential to bring high speed broadband to the 23% of homes and businesses in the State that are not commercially viable for the private sector to service directly.
“Digitalisation is shaping the future of work. Investing in knowledge and skills will enable businesses and individuals to create ideas and value in the new economy. More progress is needed in increasing the digital skills in our general population and ensuring the supply of ICT professionals meets demand. We need to deliver a new technology skills action plan. Ireland is among the first countries in the world to develop an industry driven Postgraduate MSc in Artificial Intelligence – Ibec and its members were key drivers in this initiative. Given the Commission’s announcement on AI yesterday (Wednesday April 25), we need to support more positive initiatives like this.”
Key recommendations of the Ibec Manifesto include:
1. Enhance co-ordination between government departments and business in intensifying Ireland’s digital development and deliver a national action plan to support the digitalisation of our enterprise sectors.
2. Intensify Ireland’s political engagement with international partners – complete a EU digital single market that enables connectivity, innovation, jobs and wellbeing.
3. Identify and address skill gaps that help government, businesses and individuals succeed in the new digitalised economy.
4. Encourage further conditions that enable digital innovation and entrepreneurship – deliver the National Broadband Plan and promote progressive R&D and tax regimes.
- Ibec - Accelerate Digital Ambition 2018.pdf - 1,853 Kbytes