Written answers

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Digital Ireland Framework

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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39. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the amount budgeted for the Digital Ireland Framework; if he will review the framework on an annual basis; and if he will open a public and or stakeholder consultation on the framework. [12020/22]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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In February the Government launched the new National Digital Strategy called "Harnessing Digital - The Digital Ireland Framework". The Strategy sets out a high-level framework to support our ambition for Ireland to be a digital leader, at the heart of European and global digital developments.

Ireland’s digital ambition is aligned with EU priorities, under the EU’s Digital Decade, and our national priorities, as reflected in the 2021 Economic Recovery Plan and Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), which had digitalisation and decarbonisation at its core with investments to a total value of €291 million.

The National Digital Strategy draws together the substantial amount of digital work progressing across Government, to ensure a renewed coherent and joined up approach to Ireland’s digital offering. As such, it does not have a specific amount of funding allocated for its implementation. However, it does include different initiatives that have funding allocated through either the NRRP or Budget 2022. Within my Department's remit, €85 million is allocated through to 2026 for the Digital Transition Fund which will drive the adoption of digital technologies across enterprise. There are other commitments where the funding required will be agreed. 

Implementation of the Strategy will be overseen by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment, supported by the Digital Issues Senior Officials Group. They will review progress annually. 

To inform its development, a Stakeholder Roundtable discussion was held on 9th November 2021. The National Digital Strategy also relied on the public consultation process originally carried out in 2018/2019. This consultation invited members of the public and interested stakeholders to make submissions that would inform the scope and delivery of the new strategy and the completed document takes into account the views expressed by stakeholders during that consultation process. 

The Government will shortly establish the new Enterprise Digital Advisory Forum, which will include expert stakeholders to support the implementation of the National Digital Strategy as well as advising on the digital transformation of enterprise. The Digital Transition Fund will also be reviewed after the first pilot year to take into account the feedback of enterprise. 


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