Ireland wants to develop its own AI cluster

9 Aug 2023

Image: © BestPolygon/

A progress report on Ireland’s national AI strategy details the Government’s current focus, which includes supporting enterprises and creating an AI advisory council.

The Irish Government is investigating the potential to develop an AI cluster to support the country’s growth in this rapidly growing field.

The Government said Ireland has a “young but developing” landscape of various clusters, which are defined as alliances of interconnected enterprises, research centres and associated institutions that can face common challenges and opportunities.

Earlier this year, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment published research to support the development of a national clustering policy and framework. In a new report, the Department said it will also evaluate the potential for an AI cluster.

This is one of several Government priorities listed in a progress report on Ireland’s national AI strategy.  This strategy, AI – Here for Good, was launched in 2021 and outlined plans to make Ireland a global leader in AI to benefit our economy and society, with a “people-centred, ethical approach to AI development, adoption and use”.

Other focuses include supporting enterprises that seek to adopt AI technologies, advising the public sector about AI and influencing the regulation of AI internationally.

The report said there is a “huge opportunity” from how AI technology is expected to develop in the next five years and that the country has put “good safeguards in place” to prepare for the next generation of AI.

“We believe our strong innovation ecosystem, excellent and responsive skills infrastructure, and commitment to ethical and human-centric AI position us well to benefit from the AI revolution, and importantly, to make sure that our workforce is well prepared,” the report said.

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary, TD, said AI is “transforming many aspects” of how people work and live.

“Ireland was a front runner in publishing our National AI Strategy two years ago, and we have made excellent progress so far in putting the building blocks in place to get the coming transformation right, including seeking the views and participation of young people from across Ireland on AI policy and I am pleased to see their inputs published,” Calleary said.

“Looking ahead, I want to ensure we maintain our strong position and are ready for new challenges and opportunities as they emerge.”

An AI advisory council

Minister Calleary also called for expressions of interest from individuals that seek to join Ireland’s AI advisory council, which will provide advice on AI-related policies to Government.

The Irish Government is setting up this independent task force to provide “independent expert advice” around the creation of AI policies, with a focus on building public trust and promoting “the development of trustworthy, person-centred AI”.

The Government is looking for individuals with relevant skills and experience from academia, business, law, security, social sciences, economics and civil society. The deadline to submit interest in joining is 4 September.

Calleary said this council is being established to “better understand the risks and identify the opportunities” of AI, while supporting the creation of a “more digitally integrated, inclusive and competitive society and economy”.

“My core priority is making sure that AI is fostered and deployed in a way that is safe, trustworthy and builds the confidence for innovation to flourish,” Calleary said.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic