Ireland’s National AI Strategy – Here for Good
Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, have launched Ireland’s first National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, ‘AI – Here for Good’.
AI is part of a suite of digital technologies which will be critical drivers of productivity and competitive advantage for Ireland over the next five years.
The National AI Strategy will serve as a roadmap for how Ireland can leverage the potential of AI for unlocking productivity, for addressing societal challenges, and for delivering public services. It envisions a future for Ireland as an international leader in using AI to the benefit of business, public services, and - most importantly - for people, through a people-centered, ethical approach to AI development, adoption and use.
In recognition of the wide-ranging effect AI will have on our lives, this Strategy considers AI from a number of perspectives:
• Building public trust in AI,
• Leveraging AI for economic and societal benefit,
• Enablers for AI.
The Strategy sets out a whole of Government approach to putting the necessary enablers in place to underpin AI adoption in enterprise and public services, including a supportive innovation ecosystem, a secure data and connectivity infrastructure, and policies to ensure that the workforce is prepared for the impact of AI.
Minister Troy and Minister English announce €10 million Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme
On 29 July 2021, Minister Robert Troy TD and Minister Damien English TD announced €10 million in funding available under the new Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme.
Under the €10 million Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme (RETS), €9.5 million is targeted at existing regional and community-based projects which have been previously been supported under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and Border Enterprise Development Fund. The objective of the RETS is to support not-for-profit undertakings in helping enterprises in sectors and regions negatively affected by Covid-19, as well as a consequence of Brexit, and those seeing to transition in the context of climate action and digitisation. The RETS is open for applications up to 8 September 2021.
€500,000 Feasibility Study Funding is also being provided to support early-stage regional enterprise development projects and create a pipeline of future enterprise development projects across all regions originating in particular from the Regional Enterprise Plans. Applications under the Feasibility Study Funding will be accepted up to 1 October 2021.
Details on the Scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of the Department, can be accessed below.
The New EU Dual-use Regulation and Ireland
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) will host an online event for business and industry representatives on 14 September 2021 to mark the commencement of the recast of the EU Dual-use Regulation ((EU) 2021/821). The recast comes into force on 9 September 2021.
This event will provide a background to the recast and discuss the changes enacted. The focus will be on relevant implications for exporters, in particular concerning cyber-surveillance technologies.
Mr. Stéphane Chardon, Head of Trade & Security Sector, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission will present at the event. Mr. Philip Kelly, Assistant Secretary General for Trade at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment will also be in attendance. A presentation will be delivered on behalf of the Department.
The event will run between 10:30-12:30, including Q&A. An e-invite will issue to attendees prior to the event.
If you would like to attend, please confirm by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 6 September 2021.
Look for Local
The Local Enterprise Offices’ Look for Local campaign was launched by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in early July. This is the second running of the campaign that initially took place in the run up to Christmas 2020 and saw 83% of consumers surveyed showing a willingness to look for local when purchasing in 2021.
The campaign, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, is asking the public to look local when they are shopping for products, services, and experiences. This can have a significant impact on the local economy with every €10 spent locally creating more than €40 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment.
The campaign will run throughout the summer on national radio, social and digital media along with Look for Local segments on Ireland AM and Today FM and is being supported locally nationwide by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices.
Building an Innovation Culture Workshop
“Culture is so incredibly important because it is the foundation for all future innovation.”
Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb
Enterprise Ireland has developed a workshop running on 31 August and 21 September 2021 to support clients to build and embed a strong culture of innovation to achieve growth and scale in Irish and overseas markets.
This workshop is relevant to CEOs, senior managers and innovation executives with responsibility and authority to evolve and embed an innovation culture.
Remote Working Checklist
The Remote Working Checklist for Employers was updated on 8 July 2021 to include a section on remote working Culture. The section includes key considerations for employers such as managing remote teams, staff engagement and motivation, communication and collaboration and harnessing innovation and creativity. The checklist also features questions on:
a. Employment conditions and internal policies
b. The Organisation of Working Time and the Right to Disconnect
c. Health and Safety
d. Mental Health
g. Data Protection and Cybersecurity
The Checklist also has a dedicated section for remote work carried out from Hubs and co-working spaces. Each section of the checklist includes links to resources from a range of partners to help employers successfully embrace remote working.
The Remote Working Checklist for Employers is now available in Irish. This version was launched by the Department on 29 July 2021.
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 Final Reports published
The Regional Enterprise Plans are an important part of the Programme for Government commitment to achieving more balanced regional enterprise development. The preparation of the Plans is ‘bottom-up’, which means that the actions are developed by regional stakeholders themselves who are close to the issues and emerging opportunities in each region. Actions are additional to the core strategies and activities of the Enterprise Agencies and other Bodies involved in enterprise development in the region and are collaborative in nature.
The Department has recently published the final progress reports for the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 and is currently overseeing the development of nine new 3-year Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024. The final progress reports show that out of a total of 217 actions contained across all the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020, over 90% have either been completed or have progressed and are continuing implementation.
The nine Final Progress Reports (to end 2020) on implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 are available on the DETE website.
Public Consultation to review the Employment Permits Occupations Lists
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has launched a public consultation to review the employment permits occupations lists.
Stakeholder submissions are a vital source of information and views, helping inform the Department’s final assessment of the status of occupations. It is vital that the employment permits system continues to be responsive to changes in economic circumstances and labour conditions. The submission process is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide information and potentially different perspectives on the nature and extent of skills and/or labour shortages.
Submissions are invited from sector representative bodies and interested parties via the public consultation form accessible through the link below.
All enquiries and submissions should be directed to email@example.com
The deadline for receipt of submissions is Thursday, 12 August 2021.
NSAI Covid Guides
The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) offers free guides to businesses to help them navigate the latest developments as the country gradually reopens.
The NSAI Retail Protection and Improvement Guide contains the latest information on best practices and process changes to be implemented by firms to protect their people, their premises and the general public so they can continue to operate safely.
Its Retail Protection and Improvement Guide specifies requirements to implement, maintain and improve a retailer’s ability to protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from COVID-19 related disruptions when they arise.
The COVID-19 Shopping Centre Recovery and Protection Guide addresses risks to workers and the public and will help business owners implement the mandatory Return to Work Safely Protocol that applies to all workplaces across the economy.
These guides have been continually updated throughout the pandemic to reflect the latest advice coming from Government.
The measures will help business owners to identify ways of operating which can ensure they can continue to operate safely. They can use these guidelines to assist them in taking the necessary steps, whether they are defending against a spread of the virus, managing exposure to it, or are trying to recover from an outbreak.