Ireland’s Digital Evolution: Progress Report Highlights Achievements and Commitments Towards a Tech-Forward Future

On December 7, 2022, the Irish Government released a progress report on the National Digital Strategy, titled “Harnessing Digital – The Digital Ireland Framework,” aimed at propelling the nation’s digital evolution across sectors for the collective advantage.

This strategic initiative mirrors Ireland’s aspiration to maintain its digital leadership role within the European and global landscapes. It prioritizes balance, inclusivity, security, and sustainability, aligning closely with the nation’s climate objectives.

Recognizing Ireland’s pivotal role in digital governance, the framework underscores a commitment to fostering a modern, unified regulatory framework to effectively administer and uphold digital standards.

While acknowledging advancements across all strategic dimensions—Enterprise, Infrastructure, Skills, and Public Services—and Ireland’s retention of its prominent rank as 5th among the EU27 in the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index, the government remains resolute in driving further progress amid prevailing economic challenges and technological disruptions, especially in the wake of recent job losses.

Key achievements under the framework include the establishment of the Enterprise Digital Advisory Forum, the allocation of an €85 million Digital Transition Fund to support businesses, the introduction of the ‘You’re the Business’ digital training scheme for SMEs in collaboration with Google, and the appointment of Ireland’s first AI Ambassador, Dr. Patricia Scanlon.

Noteworthy milestones encompass the rollout of initiatives like the Digital Strategy for Schools, the Adult Literacy for Life Strategy, and the Digital Connectivity Strategy, as well as efforts to bolster cybersecurity measures and enhance digital healthcare infrastructure.

Moreover, the framework outlines plans to reinforce digital regulatory frameworks, evident in the establishment of the Media Commission as Ireland’s Digital Services Coordinator under the Digital Services Act and the progression of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill 2022.

Furthermore, commitments to expand the capacity of the Data Protection Commission through increased funding and staffing signify the government’s dedication to upholding data privacy and security standards.

Launched in February 2022, the Digital Ireland Framework delineates a comprehensive roadmap to facilitate Ireland’s digital transition, bolstering public services’ efficiency, enterprise innovation, and national competitiveness. It delineates targets and strategies across four key dimensions—Digitalization of Enterprise, Skills, Infrastructure, and Public Services—in alignment with the EU’s Digital Decade objectives.

Progress across these dimensions is overseen by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment, ensuring strategic alignment and effective implementation.

The Progress Report outlines achievements across all dimensions since the framework’s inception, emphasizing Ireland’s commitment to fostering a digitally resilient and innovative society.

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