WEF recognises Govt actions on smart economy

26 Mar 2010

Ireland ranked 24th in the world in terms of network readiness, according to the Global IT Report of the World Economic Forum and included the country as a best practice case study – one of only four countries out of 133 worldwide.

The report cites the decision by the Irish Government to develop an exemplar communications test bed based on optical burst switching, where Ireland is a global leader.

The report cited that mobile phone subscriptions in Ireland now stand at 120.7 per 100 of population and 62.5 internet users per 100 population.

How Ireland fared

In the rankings, Ireland came 39th in terms of venture capital availability, 14th in terms of freedom of the press, 16th in intellectual property protection, 33rd in terms of electricity production, 19th for internet bandwidth, 24th for quality of maths and science education, 63rd in government prioritisation of ICT and 59th in terms of government procurement of advanced ICT.

Intune Networks, founded by two University College Dublin graduates, developed the innovative optical burst switching technology identified as the key component to support the Exemplar Network, as announced by Communications Minister Eamon Ryan in the Irish government report ‘Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy’.

“The World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report is a valuable platform for Ireland to showcase to the world how it is leveraging its expertise in IT to develop a true knowledge economy,” said Tim Fritzley, CEO of Intune Networks.

“The Government is to be commended for its vision in creating an Exemplar Smart Network as it will give Ireland first mover advantage in the establishment of the future smart economy, helping Ireland leapfrog its international peers in digital infrastructure.

“This development will position Ireland as a global innovation leader and will potentially deliver significant economic benefits to the Irish economy.

“I firmly believe that the Exemplar Smart Network is a key element of the infrastructure that we need to build a true smart economy and will put Ireland a number of years ahead of other countries in communications technology.

“This in turn will foster thousands of jobs, through the development of an indigenous ecosystem of companies, who will use it as a platform for developing and testing new applications as well as attracting international investment,” Fritzley said.

Ireland was picked as one of only four countries (out of 133) as a case study in best practice. The report is highly prestigious and about 150,000 hits are expected on the report which can be viewed on the WEF website. The report is published jointly with INSEAD, the world No 1 business school.

By John Kennedy