Technology Ireland calls on Government to introduce a new multiannual ‘National Digital Agenda Accelerator Fund’
- Budget 2024 needs to maximise existing digital spend following challenging 12 months in the technology sector
Technology Ireland, the Ibec group representing the technology industry, released its submission for Budget 2024 today. It calls on the Government to use Budget 2024 to maximise existing digital spending in the National Development Plan and to introduce a new multiannual ‘National Digital Agenda Accelerator Fund’.
Following a challenging 12 months for the technology sector in Ireland, the global economy is on the brink of significant changes driven by the rapid advancement of technology. The technology sector, vital to Ireland’s recovery and resilience over the past decade, requires the Government to prioritise the goals set out in the National Digital Strategy.
Una Fitzpatrick, Director of Technology Ireland, said: “Ireland aims to maximise its planned digital investment, but it's imperative that we double down on future-proofing digital innovation, skills, adoption, and services throughout the upcoming budgets and into the latter half of this decade.
Ireland has a significant opportunity to enhance its performance in innovation, digital, and AI capabilities. This isn't solely about being a hub for scientific innovation, but ensuring both companies and individuals can adapt to new technologies, thereby enhancing our overall absorptive capacity. This encompasses skills development for all ages, backing research and development, bolstering infrastructure, ensuring regulatory consistency and adequate resources, among other things. It's also about positioning Ireland on a global scale, ensuring companies benefit from the discipline of global markets sooner. Concentrating on these drivers will not only spur top-notch technological progress in Ireland but, just as crucially, emphasise both the adoption and creation of technologies. This dual focus is essential for sustainable growth and fortifying our competitiveness.
The Government should allocate resources for this pivotal investment in our future by creating a new multiannual ‘National Digital Agenda Accelerator Fund’ and by leveraging the NTF (National Training Fund). This fund would boost our competitiveness, resilience, public services, regional development, and well-being, while also meeting our national and EU digital transition goals from 2024 to 2030 and beyond. The projected cost of this new fund, which aims to bolster trust and deepen our national digital prowess while acknowledging our expanding regulatory role in the digital realm, stands at €500 million for the period 2024-2030.
Ireland remains the epicentre of the technology industry in Europe. But we cannot afford to be complacent. We must persistently strive to enhance our offering and outpace our competitors. As the regulatory decisions shaping the digital future in Europe take form, potentially affecting businesses and citizens across the world, Ireland must play a pivotal role in shaping these regulations Ireland must ensure its domestic regulation of the technology sector aligns with Europe, taking a proactive role in realizing a genuine Digital Single Market and enhancing our governance capabilities to become a top-tier regulatory hub.”