Taoiseach launches Report of the Innovation Taskforce

Brian Cowen Taoiseach launches Report of the Innovation Taskforce
"Government to develop Ireland as Global Innovation Hub"

The Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., today launched the Report of the Innovation Taskforce in the Science Gallery, Dublin. He said: "I welcome the Taskforce's recommendations for making Ireland a Global Innovation Hub. It is ambitious, but I believe that it can be done. In fact, as the Taskforce point out, we have no choice but to make it happen if Ireland is to create the jobs we need."

"The Report contains many new ideas, as well as calling for a reinforcement and better alignment of existing efforts and programmes. It also poses a challenge to industry to seize the opportunities arising. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government to take forward the Taskforce's recommendations to make Ireland a Global Innovation Hub."

The Taoiseach thanked the Taskforce members for their enormous commitment of time and effort and said that their vision will require continued support from all stakeholders to ensure that all elements of Ireland's innovation system work cohesively together.

"I am very encouraged by the level of interest in the work of the Taskforce - as demonstrated by the number of submissions they received. It shows a level of energy which we need to capture as we start implementing this Report. In fact, I know that the Taskforce's work has, by itself, already been an important stimulus to thinking and action by many organisations and individuals."

"This Report provides a roadmap for one of the five Action Areas in the Smart Economy Framework and complements the progress which has already been made on other aspects of the strategy." The Taoiseach also published a progress report today on implementation of Building Ireland's Smart Economy which is available at www.taoiseach.ie.

The Taoiseach is leaving tomorrow (Friday 12 March) to start his visit to the United States for the St. Patricks' Day period. He said "This Report will be an important part of the message I and other Ministers will be taking abroad we promote Ireland as a location for investment."

In welcoming the report, the Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan T.D., said: "Our success to date in turning investments in research and development, in entrepreneurs, in innovative companies into world beating competitive advantage for jobs and growth must be redoubled. Critical to this is the removal of barriers to success and seizing the opportunities that the Taskforce has identified."

Also welcoming the Taskforce's report, the Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Eamonn Ryan T.D., said: "This Government recognises that we need to forge a new economy; we need to stimulate and invest in ourselves. As Minister responsible for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, I will work across Government to deliver the infrastructure we need to innovate - broadband and our energy grid. I will continue our work to ensure a secure, competitive and clean energy supply.

We need to take risks and reward new thinking. I am particularly pleased with the recommendations on bankruptcy which will be taken on by the Debt Management taskforce currently working in Government.

Government is designing the economy of the future, this plan will bring us investment and jobs into the future. We will deliver this change." Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation said "Innovation and economic recovery are two sides of the same coin. The recommendations of this Report are about matching our intellectual capital with higher productivity".

Copies of the full Report and an Executive Summary are available at www.innovationtaskforce.ie

Institute of Technology Tralee is a member of the Innovation Taskforce