Plan to create up to 215,000 jobs over next decade
Business experts tasked with turning the country into an innovation hub have claimed high-tech firms could create up to 215,000 jobs over the next decade.
Innovation Ireland has unveiled a series of proposals to kickstart the economy and attract homegrown and foreign investment.
The Government-appointed group called for a sea change in attitudes towards entrepreneurship and put forward 24 key recommendations it wants implemented as a matter of priority.
Among its suggestions are increased research spending, the promotion of Ireland to overseas firms and an improvement in maths and science performance at secondary level.
The panel of business leaders, academics and public servants, established last July, also called for better infrastructure and universal access to high quality broadband.
Launching their report in Dublin's Science Gallery, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said the jobs target was achievable.
"The Innovation Taskforce have shown the glass is more than half full when it comes to Ireland's potential," he added. "The focus of all efforts must be the entrepreneur and enterprise if we are to deliver a step-change in job creation."
The Taoiseach welcomed the taskforce's suggestion that ministers undertake regular international visits to promote Ireland as an innovation hub.
"Over the next few days I, and the members of the Government will lead a major marketing effort around the world as part of St Patrick's Day celebrations," he said.
"The report of the Innovation Taskforce and its vision will be a central pillar of the message we will bring with us."