Byline: Ferghal Blaney Political Correspondent
THE Government will today announce plans to create thousands of jobs in the high-tech cloud computing sector and bring an estimated [euro]9.5billion into the economy.
The [euro]5million jobs initiative is part of a Government bid to create thousands of jobs across all its departments.
Its main thrust, however, will be a move by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to make Ireland a global cloud computing centre of excellence.
The Government will be concentrating 'significant investment' in the new technology area in the coming years with the development of a [euro]5million national cloud computing research centre to be announced today.
Consultants say the centre could help deliver 8,600 jobs in the cloud computing sector in just two years. The strategy is one of the central thrusts of the Government's Jobs Action Plan that will be launched this afternoon.
The launch will take place at international technology group ICON's Irish headquarters in the South County Business Park in Dublin.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton will jointly chair the press briefing to launch the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.
The comprehensive document, which runs to over 120 pages, will outline actions to be taken across several Government departments to deliver employment.
It's believed targets will be set and significant investments in key areas - of which cloud computing is one of the most important - will be announced to realise the goals of the plan.
The new plan has been compared to the much-vaunted Jobs Initiative of last May which promised to stimulate job creation across the economy.
This paper questioned the Government on numerous occasions to provide of the number of jobs - if any - that could be attributed to that initiative.
At no stage could Government spokesmen provide any solid evidence, although a Government source said that this information, including very specific detail, may be provided today.
A spokesman last night said cloud computing will be of central importance in today's announcement.
'The Government will establish a cloud computing technology research centre in 2012, as part of an ambitious drive to target the jobcreation potential of this highgrowth area,' he said.
'A major part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 will be to target particular sectors of the economy where there is potential for high levels of economic growth and job creation.' In order to take full advantage of the potential for jobs and economic growth provided by cloud computing, the Action Plan for Jobs will include a number of specific initiatives to be delivered this year.
It is planned that the research centre will bring leading companies in the area together with academic researchers to develop new technologies which can quickly be commercialised and lead to the creation of further jobs. The centre will develop proposals in a number of areas within cloud computing, including security and business research.
A source close to Mr Bruton, who prepared the plan, told the Irish Daily Mail last night: 'The minister is determined that if we are to create the increase in employment we need, we must make tough decisions and identify sectors where there is potential for high levels of economic growth and job creation in Ireland.' Support for research groups breaking new ground in cutting edge areas of cloud computing will also be advanced by the new centre. …