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 O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )

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PostSubject: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:06 pm

As Brian Cowen is mulling over the state of the nation, and hopefully trying to devise a strategy for our future, I am mindful that the best strategic plans focus on opportunities, rather than trying to fix every problem. Another important aspect of strategy ma ing is to set goals that are big enough to capture the imagination and to pull in enough resources to make a real change.

I'm starting this thread to open a discussion about what Ireland's biggest opportunities are, and how they should be taken up. Some things I would have in mind would be advantageous location for wind and wave power, much improving broadband capacity, relatively young population and so on.

One thing I feel that is essential for our future is to remove dependency on fossil fuels and move to local renewables: Denmark is a good example to look at, learn from and follow.
Based on this, I would advocate preparing a strategy to make Ireland 50% energy self sufficient using sustainable renewables in 10 years and 100% self sufficient by 2028.

Any other thoughts?

[color=red]This thread is now part of a foursome SWOT exercise Edo has suggested that Ireland needs to do a brutal SWOT exercise. Im setting up Weaknesses, Threats and Strengths threads separately and will link them to the OP.[/color]

Strengths thread
http://machinenation.forumakers.com/economy-business-and-finance-f8/s-ireland-s-biggest-strengths-swot-at-edo-s-suggestion-t1795.htm
Weaknesses thread
http://machinenation.forumakers.com/economy-business-and-finance-f8/w-biggest-weaknesses-in-ireland-swot-at-edo-s-suggestion-t1796.htm
Opportunities thread -
http://machinenation.forumakers.com/economy-business-and-finance-f8/o-ireland-s-biggest-opportunities-2008-2020-swot-edo-s-suggestion-t1153.htm
Threats thread
http://machinenation.forumakers.com/economy-business-and-finance-f8/t-biggest-threats-to-ireland-2008-2020-part-of-swot-at-edo-s-suggestion-t1794.htm


Last edited by cactus flower on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:44 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:44 pm

We should definitely take advantage of our natural resources - this might mean passing some laws to bypass the NIMYBs, NOMCS (not off my coast) and BANANAS (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.) but we should try to take care of the environment nonetheless. People see massive potential in tidal and wave





http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/technology/hydro/wave-power/

and I'm convinced we need to be making massive savings on fuels especially when we have so much natural energy around us. This could extend to developing new electrical heating systems for homes to researching into improving energy-efficiencies of homes and businesses thus stimulating some markets where people might renovate homes and also creating some new energy industries or at least potential for new industries. Government can direct spending into these projects with high guarantee of a return - by implementing, yes, a carbon tax.

As someone said before, there is no point in just trying to save money - we need to invest the money we save into something else that would benefit the country in the long term and I think some of that is education and some is entertainment. We're not leveraging enough from our tourism potential at all - what's wrong with us? We could be taking advantage of hillwalkers, families on bikes etc. but our roads aren't great for that but we could create off-road tracks like exist in the Burren, the Wicklow and Kerry Way etc. Should the likes of tourist boards be regionalised moreso and funded according to return (as a lot of public services could be) so as to be responsible for promotion in the locality? I'm thinking of the Shannon region but there are other places - Connemara and Kerry at the moment is possibly a leader although Clare isn't bad and Dublin is well ahead. But it all could be better because I think the market is aimed too high at the moment; we should be taking advantage of the fact that there are cheap flights here. Really we should be doubling our market here.

This would have an impact on food which I think is also under appreciated. Again we could be a niche crowd in food excellence such as organic produce. We could do a lot more to drive down the cost of eating out too although in fairness it's not too bad around Clare at all. I'd like to see more versatility in licences for food outlets though - more food halls where different tastes could be catered for together. That's from a consumer's point of view, I'm sure there are plenty of boutique foods that could be produced for sale too and the farmer's markets can be outlets for these. Farmer's markets have become jewels in our towns over the last while it seems yet there is often a degree of local complaint from business communities which might be threatened by the markets ... that could extend to local councillor's attitudes too.

We could do worse either than to attempt to introduce a form of democracy where people's ideas can be allowed to surface easily into the national sphere either through websites like this or through tv or radio or whatever. As far as I'm aware this simply isn't done but I feel it would envigourate a lot of spirits out there while producing ideas at the same time.


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:03 pm

I`d agree with an awful lot of what`s been written already but for me these should be the main areas of development and investment

1. make the break with fossil fuels

2. Find a way of directing investment in second homes, properties etc. towards rewards for investing in science and technology

3. developing facilities for tourists for wet days in ireland. They won`t come here to be ripped off and to be rained on. We have to provide a non-outdoor alternative rather than in the future trying to recover tourists we lose.

4. Pump money into pre-primary and primary education in disadvantaged areas in both rural and urban areas. Our population is too small to let any potential talent or intelligence slip through the cracks.

5. Reform the education system from top to bottom. I could go on all day there but I don`t have the energy or inclination at the minute.

6. Edit to add: Public transport should have the vast majority of funds available pumped into it rather than the road industry
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:59 pm

If all that fails to work remember there is always money in vice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBLeVcP_JQg&feature=related

and banking with tax havens.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:32 am

Biogas. I already said that but all Irish farms should use their own biological wastes.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:33 am

Squire wrote:
If all that fails to work remember there is always money in vice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBLeVcP_JQg&feature=related

and banking with tax havens.

We are already a tax haven. That is a mixed blessing.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:07 am

cactus flower wrote:
Squire wrote:
If all that fails to work remember there is always money in vice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBLeVcP_JQg&feature=related

and banking with tax havens.

We are already a tax haven. That is a mixed blessing.

I know but instead of individual wealth you have gone for corporate tax dodges in the hope of creating employment. Worked for a while until we started bragging about it. If you are making money rule one is keep lips well sealed. The non domicile wealthy may be an area worth consideration now that that idiot Brown is starting to see them as a means to prop up his endless spending.

Often these people are not just wealthy but bring with them considerable expertise and contacts. They are one of the reasons why London is a good place to organise odd business ventures.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:53 am

Besides often wondering why we don't research algae oil a bit more and suck some CO2 off our fossil-fuel burning power plants
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBJ66Oim_Xw&feature=related

there's also the high tech area and research and development in that. I often wonder how much there is left in the industry though? I fear it will come to a plateau point where a lot of older high tech might just become obsolete such as hard-drives for solid state drives and wonder can we really milk it any longer after some point?

Nevertheless the Independent today has some panicky news about us not investing in the right kind of graducates - what do we do? give them a golden handshake on entry to courses?

Quote :
IRELAND will lose out on foreign direct investment unless more students take courses in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

This was the stark warning last night from a leading hitech industrialist who said the poor uptake in these courses was a major cause for concern.

“Ireland’s economic boom has made us complacent. The global economy is changing dramatically and we are falling behind,” said Martin Murphy, MD of Hewlett Packard (HP).

He added the combination of the credit crunch and the rise of other countries meant that, from now on, Ireland would have to compete harder for every euro of overseas investment.

“With less money available, and greater competition for foreign direct investment globally, every aspect of Ireland’s offering will be scrutinised in detail and where Ireland is seen to be lacking the country will lose out on foreign investment in the coming years,” Mr Murphy told the Irish Independent.
Foreign firms will not invest due to high tech skills shortage - Indo
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:15 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Besides often wondering why we don't research algae oil a bit more and suck some CO2 off our fossil-fuel burning power plants
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBJ66Oim_Xw&feature=related

there's also the high tech area and research and development in that. I often wonder how much there is left in the industry though? I fear it will come to a plateau point where a lot of older high tech might just become obsolete such as hard-drives for solid state drives and wonder can we really milk it any longer after some point?

Nevertheless the Independent today has some panicky news about us not investing in the right kind of graducates - what do we do? give them a golden handshake on entry to courses?

Quote :
IRELAND will lose out on foreign direct investment unless more students take courses in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

This was the stark warning last night from a leading hitech industrialist who said the poor uptake in these courses was a major cause for concern.

“Ireland’s economic boom has made us complacent. The global economy is changing dramatically and we are falling behind,” said Martin Murphy, MD of Hewlett Packard (HP).

He added the combination of the credit crunch and the rise of other countries meant that, from now on, Ireland would have to compete harder for every euro of overseas investment.

“With less money available, and greater competition for foreign direct investment globally, every aspect of Ireland’s offering will be scrutinised in detail and where Ireland is seen to be lacking the country will lose out on foreign investment in the coming years,” Mr Murphy told the Irish Independent.
Foreign firms will not invest due to high tech skills shortage - Indo

It will be interesting to see whether the intuition of the school leavers or that of the IT firms will prove correct on this one. I don't see too many job adverts for these positions. Does anyone here know if they exist ?
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:32 am

cactus flower wrote:
It will be interesting to see whether the intuition of the school leavers or that of the IT firms will prove correct on this one. I don't see too many job adverts for these positions. Does anyone here know if they exist ?
Interesting point - maybe the kids have their noses properly in the air on this one.

There does seem to be a rake of jobs out there though I don't know how difficult it is to get them. Here's search I did in Irishjobs.ie for both Agency and Employer/IT and got this screen
Agency and Employer/IT

then I went into "Developer" and got 800 jobs ... mostly in Dublin
800 Developer Jobs

So there does seem to be a fair bit out there on IT and it's mostly Web based I think - I didn't look at it all.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:00 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
It will be interesting to see whether the intuition of the school leavers or that of the IT firms will prove correct on this one. I don't see too many job adverts for these positions. Does anyone here know if they exist ?
Interesting point - maybe the kids have their noses properly in the air on this one.

There does seem to be a rake of jobs out there though I don't know how difficult it is to get them. Here's search I did in Irishjobs.ie for both Agency and Employer/IT and got this screen
Agency and Employer/IT

then I went into "Developer" and got 800 jobs ... mostly in Dublin
800 Developer Jobs

So there does seem to be a fair bit out there on IT and it's mostly Web based I think - I didn't look at it all.

The school leavers are off the ball then. And the media and Careers teachers. Why the gap ?
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:16 am

Well-paid development jobs are funny to get - it's often a fairly catch 22 because you might need good experience to get that job but there aren't enough people out there with that experience or expertise so ... Companies often import people from India and elsewhere, it's peculiar. I think the number of willing developers in the world might be a finite resource too.

Companies won't train you because if they do then you can feck off to the next one who might pay better or is nearer where you live or nearer the Dart or something.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:18 am

Don't companies that offer free training include some kind of clause in the contract that says once you become qualified you have to stay with them for a certain amount of time?
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:26 am

AfricanDave wrote:
Don't companies that offer free training include some kind of clause in the contract that says once you become qualified you have to stay with them for a certain amount of time?
I haven't seen that but it makes sense. I saw a girl learn Cobol/MVS then feck off a couple of months later.

It can be a very strange market because it's rarely that you learn in school what it is a company needs. You might be a brilliant C++ programmer but you mightn't have a clue about financial stuff or manufacturing or the insurance business so you either do a specialized course straight after college or get experience in a company. And what if you have to do network programming a few years later because that's the market? You may have to retrain even though you might be brilliant at the language ... This to-ing and fro-ing might go on for a decade or more of your life. It can be hands-on like a trade and at the same time changeable like a science and very often intermingled with business. It's not easy to find people with those skills.


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:29 am

AfricanDave wrote:



Don't companies that offer free training include some kind of clause in the contract that says once you become qualified you have to stay with them for a certain amount of time?
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:31 am

cactus flower wrote:


The school leavers are off the ball then. And the media and Careers teachers. Why the gap ?

What experience do school chlidren get at secondary school to really explore the possibility of things like computer science. Certainly when I did my Leaving Cert only 4/5 years ago there was very little opportunity to do this sort of thing in school and we had a school which was very IT friendly. We did lots of it in transition year but the people I know who went on to computer science at university really developed their interests outside of school. This is in contrast to the people I know who studied architecture who excelled in technical drawing and woodwork, the people who study business who excelled at business subjects and the science graduates who had plenty to choose from in science at school.

How can we expect people to pursue computer science at university when they get so little exposure to it at second level?
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:36 am

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:


The school leavers are off the ball then. And the media and Careers teachers. Why the gap ?

What experience do school chlidren get at secondary school to really explore the possibility of things like computer science. Certainly when I did my Leaving Cert only 4/5 years ago there was very little opportunity to do this sort of thing in school and we had a school which was very IT friendly. We did lots of it in transition year but the people I know who went on to computer science at university really developed their interests outside of school. This is in contrast to the people I know who studied architecture who excelled in technical drawing and woodwork, the people who study business who excelled at business subjects and the science graduates who had plenty to choose from in science at school.

How can we expect people to pursue computer science at university when they get so little exposure to it at second level?

I think you've really hit the nail on the head johnfás, I think a lot of teachers are out of the IT loop. It would be such a good investment to bring in an IT ace to each school.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:53 am

Not just the teachers though. I mean my school was the exception and fee paying schools unfortunately are in alot of cases. All teachers in the school had to do the European Computer Driving License in order to achieve a level of computer literacy, we had a computer club for those interested after school and everyone had to do the European Computer Driving License in transition year. I'm sure alot has changed since owing to the fact most kids are computer literate anyway but it was invaluable for many in my year who were not until that stage.

You are correct about teachers being out of the loop in regard to IT, but perhaps even more critical is the fact that the cirriculum is out of the loop. We have physics, chemistry, biology and applied maths at senior cycle level, but why not another science - computer science.

As I said maybe it has changed since I was in school and it is available, but I didn't do my Leaving that long ago.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:39 pm

Edo has suggested that Ireland needs to do a brutal SWOT exercise. Im setting up Weaknesses, Threats and Strengths threads separately and will link them to the OP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis

Quote :
The whole country needs to undertake a brutally honest S.W.O.T. analysis asap.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:05 pm

from Respvblica (posted first on Weaknesses thread)

Opportunities:

-THe single market
-Agri-business
-Applied science
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:07 pm

cactus flower wrote:
from Respvblica (posted first on Weaknesses thread)

Opportunities:

-THe single market
-Agri-business
-Applied science

Thanks cactus.. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:07 pm

Respvblica wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
from Respvblica (posted first on Weaknesses thread)

Opportunities:

-THe single market
-Agri-business
-Applied science

Thanks cactus.. Embarassed

No problem Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:57 pm

We have a lot of farms and a need for non-fossil fuels, like biomass.
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:19 pm

bump bounce
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PostSubject: Re: O - Ireland's Biggest Opportunities 2008-2020 ? SWOT (Edo's suggestion )   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 pm

we have limited resourses so have to rely on obtaining our competitive advantage in agribusiness and intellectual capital.

with that in mind, we need to further invest in education and support innovation.
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