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Is Irish science funding under resourced and overly commercial?

Posted on by Will Goodbody

€245m is to be invested in the five new SFI centres

€245m is to be invested in the five new SFI centres

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent

€245 million is a big figure, by any measure. That’s how much is to be invested in five new “world class” research centres here over the next six years. The centres span a variety of areas – telecoms networks, digital connectivity, geosciences, medical devices and software. Two thirds of the investment, around €145m, will be injected by government through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), with the balance coming from dozens of industry partners – 165 to be precise. The five new centres will join the seven existing ones announced last year, which are equally commercially focused.

It’s a model which appears to make sense in an economy where the unemployment rate is 11%. Science funding is pooled, prioritised and targeted at areas of expertise which hold the highest level of promise for the creation of jobs here. Industry is attracted in by the opportunity of having access to cutting edge R&D people and facilities. In return these industry partners must stump up cash, and in-kind contributions. They offer opportunities for licensing, help train researchers in the ways and efficiencies of the private sector and provide advice on things like setting up spin-out businesses.

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Why do the multinationals come here?

Posted on by Sean Whelan

by Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent

euro

ESRI research shows corporation tax is key

New research by the ESRI for the Department of Finance looks at the impact of tax policy in the decision of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to locate overseas.

The standout finding is that if Ireland had been operating a corporation tax rate at the EU average of 22.5%, fewer than half the multinational companies that have come here since 2005 would have opened in Ireland.

Even moving to a corporate tax rate of 15% could, the ESRI says, have knocked more than a fifth off the number of foreign firms opening here in the period under review.

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Ireland’s banking crisis – forgotten but not gone

Posted on by David Murphy

Permanent TSB may have to raise more money to meet ECB rules - but it probably won't have to come from the taxpayer

Permanent TSB may have to raise more money to meet ECB rules – but it shouldn’t have to come from the taxpayer

By David Murphy, Business Editor

Many would have imagined that by the end of 2014 the difficulties of Irish banks would, after six tortuous years, have concluded.

However the strong possibility that one Irish bank may need further money illustrates that the effects of Ireland’s financial collapse is lingering. Continue reading

Deficit still dictating Budget arithmetic

Posted on by Sean Whelan

Michael Noonan expects Budget 2015 to meet the European Commission's rules

Michael Noonan expects Budget 2015 to meet the European Commission’s rules

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan

Next year the Government will spend a shade over €70bn. It will have an income of €65bn. So it has to borrow another €5bn to plug the gap.

Indeed the Government is borrowing more than it strictly needs to borrow for a neutral Budget. For the first time since 2007 it has introduced an expansionary Budget – though expansionary is rather a grand word for what is a very modest increase in spending. Continue reading

Better-off are big beneficiaries in Budget 2015

Posted on by David Murphy

Higher earners are in line to gain more from Budget 2015 than those on middle or low incomes

Higher earners are in line to gain more from Budget 2015 than those on middle or low incomes

By David Murphy Business Editor

It was supposed to be a Budget targeted at low and income middle earners – the reality was the higher earners will be better off too. Continue reading

Budget 2015 to mark the end of adjustments

Posted on by Sean Whelan


By Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent

noonan

Michael Noonan may increase borrowing more than is strictly necessary in order to increase spending in Budget 2015

The most important thing about this Budget is that it marks the end of the adjustments – a  year earlier than planned.

The White Paper published on Friday night shows that the Government can easily met its EU deficit target of less than 3% of GDP without the need for tax increases or spending cuts over and above those already legislated for.

In eight budgets over the course of seven years the Government have taken almost €30 billion out of the economy, a cumulative adjustment of almost one fifth of GDP. This has been an enormous adjustment by any standard.  And now its over – a point that is well worth reflecting on.

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Whither the future for PayPal

Posted on by Will Goodbody

 

In three years time, eBay will account for 15% of PayPal business

In three years time, eBay will account for 15% of PayPal business

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent

What do you do when the child you’ve nurtured from nappies, develops into an adult and becomes increasingly independent? That’s the tough question that has faced eBay in recent years as PayPal grew up and started forging a life of its own.

 Founded in the late 1990s, PayPal was bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5bn, not long after PayPal went public. Initially, there was a strong and obvious mutual dependence. eBay needed a secure, simple and trusted online payments service for its customers to use. PayPal needed a consistent source of reliable business from which to grow.

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The Central Bank and the Anglo bond

Posted on by Sean Whelan

The ECB is uncomfortable with Ireland's promissory note arrangement

The ECB is uncomfortable with Ireland’s promissory note arrangement

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan

Is the Central Bank selling down its stock of Anglo Bonds faster than required? If it is, what bonds is it selling? And most importantly of all, will it cost us or save us money? Continue reading

BASH bug – Q&A

Posted on by Will Goodbody

Up to 50% of web servers could be vulnerable to the bug

Up to 50% of web servers could be vulnerable to the bug

A potentially huge security flaw has been unearthed in a commonly used computer operating system, that could impact hundreds of millions of devices around the world. Will Goodbody looks at what the fuss is all about. Continue reading

IMF’s ‘interesting’ data on financial access

Posted on by Sean Whelan

atm

Ireland has 85.33 ATMs per 100,000 adults, new IMF figures show

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan

The IMF has just released its latest Financial Access Survey, which looks at people’s access to banking services.  This year it includes data from some countries on mobile banking services such as telephone or internet banking.

Sadly there is no data from Ireland on this development, nor from Germany, but there is information on mobile banking use from places including Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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