The Government today published a Progress Report on our National Digital Strategy, Harnessing Digital – The Digital Ireland Framework, which is helping to drive the digital transition across our economy and society, to the benefit of all.
The strategy reflects Ireland’s ambition to remain a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments. It places a strong emphasis on balance, inclusiveness, security and safety, and re-enforces work towards achieving Ireland’s climate targets.
Cognisant of Ireland’s important role in implementing digital regulations, Harnessing Digital re-enforces our commitment to a modern, cohesive, well-resourced network of regulators to effectively oversee and enforce digital regulations.
While progress has been made across all the Strategy’s dimensions (Enterprise, Infrastructure, Skills, and Public Services), and Ireland retained its strong position of 5th out of the EU27 in the EU’s 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index, the Government remains focused on driving further progress across all aspects of our digital agenda.
This is increasingly important given the significant challenges, and economic headwinds currently facing businesses and households, including the technology sector. The Government is committed to supporting those affected by recent job losses in the sector, to maintaining our focus on competitiveness, and ensuring that Ireland is the best place in Europe to invest and grow for the future, in this digital age.
Significant progress under the Strategy includes:
- A new Enterprise Digital Advisory Forum, with representatives of indigenous and multi-national companies, and experts in digital technologies and their adoption;
- An €85 million Digital Transition Fund to support companies at all stages of their digital journey; and a new digital training scheme for SMEs, ‘You’re the Business’, in partnership with Google;
- The Government published a revised Statement on the Role of Data Centres in Ireland’s Enterprise Strategy in July;
- Ireland’s first AI Ambassador, Dr Patricia Scanlon, is leading a national conversation on the role of AI in our lives, and Ireland’s commitment to an ethical approach;
- On digital skills, implementation of the new Digital Strategy for Schools and the Adult Literacy for Life Strategy is progressing;
- A new Digital Connectivity Strategy sets out the State’s ambition for digital connectivity to 2030 and the strategic enablers and initiatives to achieve it;
- Ongoing work to strengthen the capacity and footing of the National Cyber Security Centre, and the commencement of a mid-term review of the National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2023;
- Implementation of Connecting Government 2030 - A Digital and ICT Strategy for Ireland’s Public Service, published in March 2022, is progressing, including the development of a Key Life Events Portal;
- A new Digital Healthcare Framework 2023-2027 is being developed; among other challenges, it will consider how best to develop a roadmap for Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. The provision of EHR for the New Children’s Hospital is progressing, representing the most extensive EHR deployment in Ireland;
- Progress across our digital regulatory workstream includes the Government’s decision to designate our new Media Commission, Coimisiún na Meán, as Ireland’s Digital Services Coordinator, under the Digital Services Act, and work is ongoing to give operational and legislative effect to that decision;
- The Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill 2022 is progressing through the Oireachtas, and work to establish Coimisiún na Meán on an administrative basis is progressing in parallel; and
- The Government agreed to appoint two additional Commissioners to support the evolving needs of the Data Protection Commission, andthe increased budget Government has committed to the DPC, with €26.2 million for 2023, will allow further expansion of resources, beyond the 200 staff currently employed, and of capacity.
In welcoming the progress achieved since the Plan’s publication in February, the Taoiseach noted:
“Ireland remains committed to being a digital leader in Europe, and beyond - to driving our own green and digital transformations, for a more sustainable future, and to ensuring that our regulatory framework is equipped to play its part. This Progress Report highlights the breadth of work delivered across the digital agenda this year.
“Ensuring we maintain our focus on driving progress across our broad digital agenda will be a key priority over the period ahead, so that everyone can benefit from our digital transition. This is particularly important given the challenges currently facing the technology sector, and households and businesses in general.”
The Tánaiste said:
“Embracing digital technologies is crucial, both for our continued economic progress, and to better serve our people. This Progress Report highlights the significant work undertaken since the strategy’s launch in February, including in the area of enterprise.
“Adopting digital technologies can benefit businesses in many ways, helping them to better understand their customers, reduce their costs and improve their products. It is a vital next step for many businesses.
“A competitive, innovative and resilient enterprise base will provide high-quality jobs and employment opportunities in all parts of the country. Maximising the opportunities digitalisation offers will really help to achieve this.”
Notes to Editor
- Harnessing Digital – The Digital Ireland Framework was launched in February 2022.
- It sets out a roadmap to drive and enable the digital transition across the economy and society, to maximise the efficiency of public services, the productivity and innovation of enterprise, and our overall competitiveness and sustainability.
- Targets and workstreams are included across four dimensions, in line with the EU’s Digital Decade - Digitalisation of Enterprise; Skills; Digital Infrastructure; and Digitalisation of Public Services.
- The strategy re-enforces our commitment to a modern, cohesive, well-resourced network of regulators to effectively oversee and enforce digital regulations.
- Implementation is progressed via the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment, and supporting groups.
- Progress across all four dimensions since its launch is detailed in the Progress Report.