Home > Uncategorized > Does Ireland need a green 'Manhattan project'? Part 1

Does Ireland need a green 'Manhattan project'? Part 1

There is much talk about innovation and Ireland’s green economy or at least the potential ‘greening’ of the economy. Yet we seem to be mostly good at creating new reports on innovation or entrepreneurship. Many of these reports (like the most recent, Innovation Taskforce report) have good ideas but it is obvious the country is not in any condition to support many of these ideas financially.

Experimentation and the costs incurred by such innovative thinking are currently beyond us.

The fact is many countries are currently ‘talking the talk’ about sustainability and green tech. It  is the current buzz word. Ten years ago we had the knowledge society and the internet. Now it is the green economy and the green collar jobs that go with it. If we are really, really serious about this then bold thinking is needed. I would suggest we look at creating a major all-Ireland (perhaps all-Island) project, something big, bold and brash. A ‘Manhattan project’ if you like and like the original Manhattan project, it would have to have the best scientists that we have and the full weight of the government behind it. It would need to be prioritised above all else.

And how would be pay for this? Perhaps like in a war (and in a sense this is a national emergency we are talking about if you look at the financial costs of NAMA and the bail-out of the banks) we could raise money through a green bond. Yes, it might sound somewhat mad to talk about it in such terms, but great peril should embolden great leadership and the Irish people will follow a great idea, even a slightly mad one…..and as we shall see there are great ideas out there. 

We aren’t talking about another wind farm, this would have to be really transformational. Perhaps the Your Country Your Call competition will offer some useful solutions.

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