The Government has earlier this month announced its 2016 strategic plan for job creation aimed at meeting the long term, sustained goals outlined in Enterprise 2025.
National Clustering Initiative
Amongst its ‘Five Strategic Ambitions’ the Action Plan aims to develop the ‘National Clustering Initiative’, which supports enterprise-led initiatives to build world-class clusters in key sectors.
Geoscience Ireland (GI) is a business development cluster of 26 small & medium size Irish companies targeting natural resources and infrastructure development projects in overseas markets. The GI Network (set up in 2012) is directly supported & sponsored by both Enterprise Ireland (EI) & the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI; Dept. of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR)).
GI’s approach to job creation and business development aligns well with the Action Plan and also draws on the its goal of cooperation and coordination across the multiple Government Departments and State agencies who are involved in the promotion and development of Ireland’s export trade.
Cooperation & Coordination
Along with Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) sits on the GI Steering Committee and GI Member Companies have drawn substantially on the support offered by this cooperative arrangement. Our Embassy Networks & Enterprise Ireland’s International Office Network are key resources in developing linkages and market access overseas.
Research & Innovation
The Action Plan rightly acknowledges Ireland’s commitment to Research & Innovation over the past decade. In December 2015, the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) was formerly launched by Minister Damien English TD. The Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) announced iCRAG in late 2014 and the GSI and GI have provided support for the initiative since its inception by way of technical advisory, data, research collaboration & industry partnering. Linking Industry and Innovation is a targeted way to create jobs in the geoscience sector.
The Plan emphasises increasing Ireland’s engagement with International Financial Institutions (IFIs); IFIs & multilateral agencies continually provide opportunities for GI Companies accessing overseas projects, GI Member Nicholas O’Dwyer Consulting Engineers rank strongly in the Irish uptake of World Banks projects.
DCENR targeted a job creation figure by GI Member Companies of +250 by 2017 which was surpassed in summer 2015. Following in the spirit of Enterprise Ireland upwardly revising their job creation goals for this year, GI Members now aim to bring a further 200 jobs to the Irish economy by 2017. This month the Members announced the creation of a further 42 new jobs since the summer, bringing the total number employed to over 1,600.
You can read the Action Plan for Jobs 2016 here