Budget 2010

11 Nov 2010

Policy-makers must serve and protect.

This year’s Budget will be the most historic in the history of the State. In achieving targets, the decision-makers must remember what we need to protect to survive.

EMPLOYMENT: It goes without saying that ICT represents one of the surest routes for employment growth in this country. It is pivotal that Ireland fields more computer science and engineering graduates.

BROADBAND: Ireland has come a long way in terms of reaching European norms for broadband speeds. But quality is key and if Ireland is to continue to be an export driven economy, a national digital strategy must be pursued.

EDUCATION: Ireland must provide the education system that embeds technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in our young people. The €150m Smart Schools = Smart Economy plan, as well as the 100Mbps broadband plan for 600 schools in the next two years, must be sustained.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The State’s creation of a €500m Innovation Fund Ireland must be sustained and pursued to grow the venture investment community here, otherwise we risk sending out the wrong signals to investors critical to supporting the employers of tomorrow.

GREEN ECONOMY: Achieving green-economy goals, from smarter energy monitoring to reducing emissions, must be harnessed as an opportunity to not only boost nationwide ICT infrastructure but also fundamentally to get people back to work.

TALENT AND SKILLS: Ireland needs the ICT and science workers of the future. The heart of this issue is the quality of graduates emerging from second and third level. On top of the return of bonus points for higher maths, more needs to be done.

CLOUD COMPUTING: The latest internet and network technologies can make a significant contribution to public-sector transformation and cut public-sector costs by millions. An internal cloud for the public sector could save the economy €100m.

SCIENCE AND INNOVATION: The good work by Science Foundation Ireland in recent years in establishing Ireland’s credentials as a leading scientific nation must be sustained. Again, any impact on spending in this area could create irrevocable damage and sully our reputation internationally.

Read more of ‘Budget 2010’ at Digital 21.

www.digital21.ie – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.

Silicon Republic has embarked on its Cloud Centre campaign to better inform businesses about opportunities in cloud computing. To visit our Cloud Centre, click here

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years