Digital media ripe for growth, Forfás


5 Nov 2002

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Ireland is well positioned to be a leader in digital media, according to a report published today by Forfás. ‘A Strategy for the Digital Content Industry in Ireland’ identifies five digital sectors that are ripe for growth but warns of several obstacles that could hamper the country’s successful adoption of the sector.

“The levels of R&D activity in enterprises and in the third-level sector, the availability of appropriate skills, funding limitations for emerging and developing companies and the availability of required broadband services and infrastructure need to be addressed,” said Forfás CEO Martin Cronin. The report also challenges some of the hype around the sector describing expectations as ‘overly optimistic and premature’.

“There has been a lot of hype, but there are significant opportunities for Ireland,” said Adrian Devitt, policy analyst with Forfás. “While it’s not emerging very quickly there is a window of opportunity. If we want to get into digital media we need to start acting reasonably soon. This means improving the legal environment and internet peering activities and we need to continue working on broadband in the country.”

The report says that the global market is likely to hit a high-growth phase around 2005/2006. Perhaps mindful of criticism of vagueness over what constitutes ‘digital media’, the report also takes time to identify five sectors it believes are most likely to succeed: e-learning, games, wireless services, digital libraries (converting public and private libraries into digital content) and non-media applications used in design and development of new products and services in areas such as medical training.

The report is available to download from: http://www.forfas.ie/pubs_index.htm

By Ian Campbell