Digital Economy Report: the overview

21 Jul 2009

The Government’s new smart economy strategy was outlined today with an aim to create a Digital Ireland where a measurable target of 30,000 new jobs in the technology sector through digital and clean technology is set for the next five to ten years.

The report, entitled ‘Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy’, was launched earlier today at Government buildings by Energy and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD and Minister of State responsible for the Information Society Conor Lenihan TD.

“The Smart Economy document pledged to make Ireland a centre of high-tech jobs that cannot be outsourced; one that uses our natural resources and our expertise to Ireland’s competitive advantage,” said Minister Ryan.

“The series of innovations in Government policy today will make the smart economy a reality.”

“We have identified the challenges the world will face in the next decade. These are climate change, a peak in global oil production and the fight for scarce resources including energy and water. Understanding the challenges means there will be great rewards for the country with the solutions.”

1. Building an Exemplar Smart Communications Network

The report includes a six point plan of action that begins with the building of a next-gen fibre optic network as was detailed in the announcement for over 350 jobs at InTune Networks.

2. Energy-efficient Data Centres and Cloud Computing


Further to this there will be a focus on energy-efficient data centres and cloud computing: the Government wants to position Ireland as a hub for green data centre as well as replicate the success of Cork-based EMC whose cloud computing data storage services supports 1700 jobs.

This sets a target of 10,000 high value jobs to be created within this area over the next five to ten years.

3. International Content Services Centre (ICSC)

The third action is to establish Ireland as an International Content Services Centre (ICSC). What this means is that content creation such as digital media, animation, films, games and so on are a focus as other related areas including legal services for the digital space.

4. Smart electricity networks

Fourth on the list is the smart electricity network: the Government said that it plans to roll-out an electricity network that allows for a two-way flow of electricity while the ESB has committed to developing an electric vehicle charging system to satisfy electric vehicle targets set by the Government.

5. WorkFlow

Smart traffic systems will also be developed within the WorkFlow concept. This will involve using web-enabled mobile traffic sensors and communication tools to bring traffic congestion while lowering carbon emissions.

In addition it will involve live feeds of real-time estimates of commute times for workers to better choose travel times, and this will be rolled out in 2010 with the assistance of the Department of Transport.

6. Smart Bay

The final action involves Smart Bay, a project supported by IBM and Intel that aims to establish a Marine Research, Test and Demonstration Platform in Galway Bay.

This will further environmental research by linking surface and underwater sensors and networks to enable environmental research.

Aside from understanding marine ecosystems, this data will be sued for new oil and gas exploration as well as giving advanced information on costal flooding, storm surges and rising sea levels.

While only in pilot scheme right now it will transition to a full-scale national platform with upgraded fibre and wireless throughout 2010-11.