The Next Leap: Competitive Ireland in the Digital Era

Video from the launch event

Tanaiste’s (deputy prime minister) launch statement

my presentation

chair person’s introduction


Front cover

The Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan, will launch my report on Tuesday, 16 December 2008, at 7.00 PM at the IIEA.

Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, will chair the event. Details below.

Visit this link or E-mail and note your organisation and contact details if you would like to attend.

Title: The Next Leap: Competitive Ireland in the Digital Era

Subtitle: Strategic Report on the Trends of Change in the Digital Sector, and Government Opportunities for Action, Based on the IIEA Digital Sector Stakeholders’ Consultation

The Next Leap: Competitive Ireland in the Digital Era is intended to be a useful point of reference as Government considers a new national strategy to maximise Ireland’s competitive advantage in the digital era. It is an exercise in digital foresight that describes: Emerging trends that will characterise the digital environment incoming years; and Government actions that could capitalise on these trend. This report presents a cross-cutting draft plan of action derived from the diverging inputs of stakeholders across the digital sector.

Publisher: The Institute of International & European Affairs
Author: Johnny Ryan
ISBN-13: 978-1-874109-95-2
EAN: 9781874109952


Advance information below:

Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, foreword, p.7

“Now is the time to create the vision of a new economic reality… If Ireland fosters innovation and enterprise in the digital space, it can create social and economic benefits. However, to do so requires bold and brave investment. In forty years’ time, historians will look back at the actions we took to address the challenges and opportunities presented to us. They will commend our foresight on the basis of the actions we take now.”

Johnny Ryan, Senior Researcher IIEA, introduction, p. 9

“Ireland is at a moment of opportunity. A digital revolution is transforming the global environment in which Ireland operates. Failure to embrace the transition to this new world will leave Ireland marooned as conventional industries migrate to cheaper locations, and traditional industries are transformed using new digital technologies with which our people are not conversant and for which we lack the infrastructure. On the other hand, the digital revolution presents huge opportunities for Ireland. If we successfully manage it, Ireland can offset its long-standing geographical disadvantage, leverage the creativity of its citizens at all levels of society, and engage with a global market of unprecedented scale.”

Jill Donoghue, Director General of the IIEA, preface, p. 5

“In 2008, the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) identified Ireland’s competitiveness in the digital sector as a priority area for research. The trigger for this research was the warning by the Irish Technology Leadership Group in Silicon Valley that Ireland was no longer mentioned among the top five countries in the digital sector.”

John Hartnett, Chairman of the Irish Technology Group in Silicon Valley and Senior Vice President, Palm Inc., peer-review, p. 27

“This report identifies several key areas that, in the opinion of the ITLG, are paramount for Ireland to be able to compete in the digital era over the next 20-30 years”.


This document does not represent a consensus, but rather the best and boldest concepts drawn from the input of leaders in the field of research, entrepreneurs, media producers, multinational companies and early stage startups, software vendors, educators, and public sector bodies and organisations, who were consulted for this purpose during the IIEA’s Digital Sector Stakeholders’ Competitiveness Consultation. The Digital Sector, which this report defines broadly, includes communications regulators, actors in the ICT industry from multinational EMEA HQs in Ireland to indigenous start-ups, sub-sectors of the financial services, digital media content providers, game development, ICT R&D, web research, education, medical research, the media & culture sector, finance & capital providers, foreign development initiatives. This document does not represent a consensus, but rather the best and boldest concepts drawn from the input of leaders in the field of research, entrepreneurs, media producers, multinational companies and early stage startups, software vendors, educators, and public sector bodies and organisations, who were consulted for this purpose during the IIEA’s Digital Sector Stakeholders’ Competitiveness Consultation. This consultation was the first step in the three-step process that resulted in this report. The second step was analysis and consolidation to ensure that the diverse inputs received from stakeholders were presented in a coherent and policy relevant manner. The third step was to submit the report for peer review to the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) in Silicon Valley. The ITLG is composed of the most senior Irish business people in the global digital sector. Finally, the report was submitted by the IIEA to Government.

About the author:

Johnny Ryan is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of International & European Affairs, and an O’Reilly Foundation Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

About the stakeholders (individuals & organisations): note: The specific inputs of stakeholders remain confidential.

the Digital Media Forum; Chambers Ireland; Trinity Research & Innovation, TCD O’Reilly Institute; Forfás; the German Chamber of Commerce; the Irish Software Association; Juniper Research; the American Chamber of Commerce; BT Ireland; Microsoft; John Hurley, Governor, Central Bank & Financial Services Authority of Ireland; Peter O’Shea, Chief Information Officer, ESB; Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Ireland; Donal O’Mahony, Multimedia Manager, IDA Business Park Wicklow; Isolde Goggin, former Communications Commissioner; Cathal Gaffney, Owner, BrownBag Films; John Mallon, Owner, Argent Productions; Edward M Walsh, Founding President, University of Limerick; Tom Termini, Solutions Architect, Bluedog Inc.; Joe Drumgoole, founder,; Helen Shaw, Managing Director, Athena Media; Martin Hogan, Manager, the Digital Cube; Michael O’Neil, Director, UCD Natural Computing Research & Applications Group; Eamonn Fallon, CEO,; Seán Jevins, Director of e-Services, Allied Irish Bank; M-Tahar Kechadi, Director, UCD Parallel Computational Research Group; James Grealis, Senior Director of Operations, Symantec Inc.; Larry Bass, CEO, Screentime ShinAwiL Productions; Fionn Murtagh, Director of Information, Communications and Emergent Technologies, Science Foundation Ireland; Lionel Barker, General Manager, Xilinx Design Services; Hugo Boylan, Managing Director, Newgrove Consultants; Philip Farren, Consultant, GCS Recruiting; Niall Ennis, Managing Director, DCC SerCom; Jamie McCormick, founder, Game; Liam O’Morain, Commercialisation Manager, Digital Enterprise Research Institute; Stephen Brennan, Director of Marketing & Strategy, Digital Hub Development Agency; Brian Honan, Owner, BH Consulting; Keith Bohanna, founder, dbTwang; Grainne Barron, Director, Animo; John Whelan, Technology Transfer Case Manager, TCD; Aoife O’Mahony, Manager, STEPS to Engineering, Engineers Ireland; Dermot Doyle, Managing Director, BOSSCOM; Clive Byrne, Director, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals; Susanne Dirks, Leader, IBM Institute for Global Business Value; John J. Lynch, Chairman, CIÉ; David Cotter, CEO, igopeople; Rob Corbet, Partner, Arthur Cox; Damian Ryan, Partner, Results International Group; Marian O’Sullivan, Head of Development, Institute of Art, Design and Technology; Ruth Mac Partlin, CEO, Fluid Rock; Rod Large, Chairman, Crucible Media; William J. Murphy, Chair, Commerce & Technology Graduate Programs, Franklin Pierce Law Centre; Philip Adams,  serial entrepreneur; Tom FitzGerald, Managing Director, Bárd; Fred Herrera, Enterprise Development Executive, Institute of Art, Design & Technology Dun Laoghaire; Mary Ryan, Managing Director, Project Innovator Ltd.; The Irish Primary Principals’ Network; Peter Kennedy, Vice President for Research, UCC; Ann O’Connor, Rosalind Burke, Bartley O’Connor, and Feargal O’Rourke, Pricewaterhouse Coopers; Frank Turpin, Government Affairs Manager, Intel; Michael Walsh, Global DMX; Charles Larkin, Chairperson of the Swan Group; Patricia Callan, Director, Small Firms Association; Sonas Innovation; the Irish Venture Capital Association; Olivia Cosgrove, CEO, CashTrail; Larry O’Connell, Senior Economist, National Social & Economic Forum; Aine Looney, CEO, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment; Martin Walsh, Chief Legal Counsel, Daon; Ben Hurley, CEO, National Digital Research Centre;  Kevin T. Ryan, Centre Director, LERO, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, University of Limerick.

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