The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys has today launched a five year plan to future-proof the manufacturing sector here.
Ireland's Industry 4.0 Strategy was launched at the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre in Mullingar in Co Westmeath.
It aims to help firms respond to the transformation of the manufacturing sector being driven by new digital technologies and will cover the years from 2020 to 2025.
The manufacturing sector supports 227,000 direct jobs and four out of five of those jobs are outside Dublin.
Minister Humphreys said that digital technologies are transforming the country's manufacturing sector.
"This presents challenges but also opportunities and we must embrace the change to sustain the quality employment it creates right across the country," the Minister said.
"This strategy includes a suite of actions that supports and promotes collaboration across the various stakeholders involved. By working together, we can ensure a bright future for this important sector," she added.
The Minister also today announced the approval of Enterprise Ireland's investment in the Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) Centre, a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.
The funding package over five years amounts to €23.5m which represents a 57% increase from the previous phase which ran from 2015 to 2019.