By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU.

Digital Cork a new regional initiative was launched on July 17th to help countries, cities and regions to monitor their digital economies. Insights are needed by companies to inform their digital policies.

With Digital Cork, a unique service that focuses exclusively on measuring Cork’s digital capabilities and monitoring its digital economy will be provided. It will expand Cork’s digital state of mind by sharing knowledge and recommendations that contribute to the growth of the region’s Digital Economy.

“Ireland’s digital economy is worth €12 billion, contributing 6% of GDP. With Cork contributing 17% of GDP and with 12% of the population living in the region, Cork’s digital economy could be worth €1 billion, which is more than tourism. It has the potential to grow by €150 million a year and create 15,000 digital jobs over the next five years. This places great importance on Cork’s digital economy as a source of regional growth. It is imperative that we create a Digital Economy Plan that can measure and develop it” said Kieran O’Hea, founder of Digital Cork.

Digital Cork will provide an independent, unbiased and collective voice, and is in a position to provide support for related initiatives that are already under way, such as the Cork Smart Gateway. Digital Cork will provide a voice for the digital community in Cork and a forum for those with an interest in the digital economy.

According to Kieran O’Hea, it is essential that Cork knows what its digital economy is worth, if it will grow, how fast and if jobs will be created. He adds that Digital Cork is a voluntary initiative that is in the process of raising funds for its first project. This will be a Digital Audit of Cork businesses that will measure the collective digital capability in the region, identify digital champions and give Cork a digital maturity score. WP Cork, Viewsion and Republic of Work were also a huge support to this initiative.

O’Hea is an experienced digital strategist, he helps companies and cities succeed in the digital economy. He has worked with the European Commission, with Government agencies in Ireland and was appointed Chief Digital Officer of Brisbane in 2012.


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