New Smart Specialisation Strategy will identify and invest in every region of Ireland’s unique strengths.
Ireland is about to embark on an ambitious strategy to identify and invest in the strengths and opportunities of every region in the country.
The Irish Government’s new Smart Specialisation Strategy will identify and invest in every region’s unique strengths.
“This Strategy is an opportunity to look at each of our regions and identify what the strengths and opportunities are, and invest in them”
As part of the policy the Government said it will be investing in Technological Universities and knowledge transfer between SMEs and higher education institutions.
The new National Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) 2022-2027 will focus on five key areas:
- Digitalisation and digital transformation
- Green transformation for enterprise
- Innovation diffusion
- International collaboration on Research, development and innovation
- Improving the national/ regional enterprise research and innovation system
Through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for 2022-2027, Ireland is set to receive €396 million from the European Commission to support regional investment. The development of a S3 is an essential pre-requisite for Ireland to receive this structural funding.
Building for the next world
“The world is changing in so many ways,” Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said. “From how we work, to how we get to work, to how we communicate with one another, to how we access public services; digital technology and the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels are transforming every area of our lives, and that trend will only accelerate.
“This, coupled with huge global uncertainty with Putin’s war on Ukraine, rising inflation and increased economic competitiveness, mean that now more than ever, we need to invest to protect our economic progress, and prepare for the future.”
The stakeholder engagement and analysis conducted during the development of the S3 strategy identified regional economic and research strengths and emerging areas of opportunity.
Many sectors, such as ICT, pharmaceuticals, agrifood and the growing renewable energy sector were identified as strengths right across the country.
Funding will go the new Technological Universities to help them do industry relevant research and additional staff and initiatives that help with technology transfer between our SMEs and higher education institutions more generally. It will also go towards training, clustering and smart hubs for entrepreneurial research and innovation.
“This Strategy is an opportunity to look at each of our regions and identify what the strengths and opportunities are, and invest in them,” said Varadkar. “We’ve done some of that work already, speaking with local business owners, higher education institutions and other local stakeholders and have identified some really exciting areas to focus on, such as the creative sector and so called ‘blue’ economy in the Northern and Western region, advanced manufacturing, food and financial services in the East and Midlands and ICT, design and the automotive sectors in the Southern region.
“The document is only the beginning, we will be coming forward with a number of region-specific programmes over the coming months. I’m particularly keen to invest in our Technological Universities. The talent and skills of our people is the engine behind our growth and we need to make sure we are preparing our workforce for the future.”