Monday 22 January 2018

More yet to do as presidency enters its final fortnight

IRELAND'S presidency of the EU has entered its final fortnight and it would be easy to think it was beginning to wind down. After all, the really big meetings have all concluded.

Not so. Today and yesterday the Digital Agenda Assembly is taking place in Dublin Castle.

Among the topics up for discussion are how to drive forward Europe's digital economy at a time of great change in both the EU and the technology world.

Some of the 600 delegates took part in a series of workshops yesterday aimed at working out strategies for the future, including whether SMEs should be investing heavily in an online business, or sit tight and focus on their traditional selling methods. Another focused on the critical question of how to turn research and innovation into jobs.

That's a critical question in The Punt's mind. We hear a lot of guff about how companies need to "innovate" and how "innovation will get us out of the recession", but what does that mean? Innovation is great, but useless if it doesn't deliver tangible benefits. Today will see the plenary session conclude the two-day event, with communications minister Pat Rabbitte among the speakers.

Irish Independent

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