Up to 300 jobs are to be created through spin-off companies from the establishment of a new national data analytics research centre.
Four universities, 30 firms and 200 researchers will unite for Insight, an 88 million euro research centre headed by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
It will receive funding of 58 million euros from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through SFI, with 30 million euros from the 30 companies, ranging from small Irish start-ups to established SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and large multinationals.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said b ig data is a sector growing globally at 40% per annum.
"This is a sector where Ireland has the potential to gain competitive advantage and attract significant numbers of investments and jobs, and we are putting in place measures to ensure that we can deliver on that potential," he said.
"The establishment of this world-class SFI research centre in data analytics, with a total investment of 88 million euros supported by my department, is a strong signal of our ambition in this area."
Insight maintains it will lead to the creation of 300 direct jobs over the next six years through 12 new spin-out companies, as well as to the training of the next generation of data analytics experts.
The centre for data analytics, the largest of its kind in the country, is a joint initiative between researchers at UCD, NUI Galway, UCC and DCU and will be based across all four institutions.
Researchers from Ireland's leading ICT centres will develop a new generation of data analytics technologies in a number of key application areas,
Professor Barry Smyth, chief executive of Insight, said: "Data analytics represents a huge growth opportunity for Ireland and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of it.
"Spending on big data technologies is growing at 30% per annum as demand for data analytics skills continues to outstrip supply.
"In Insight we have brought together the country's leading data analytics researchers to meet this demand and create new opportunities for Ireland and our industry partners."
Elsewhere, six new stores have opened in the capital with the creation of 100 new jobs.
Jervis Shopping Centre, on the north side of Dublin city, said the new shops are open for Christmas shoppers.
The shops include Irish retailer Carraig Donn, fashion accessory store Parfois, Cherry Crystal which sells crystal jewellery, eateries Kay's Kitchen and Waffely Good, and The Flower Factory.
Centre manager Derek McDonnell said: "We are absolutely thrilled to announce these exciting additions to our centre, which have all enhanced our already-vibrant retail mix.
"Not only have we an exciting choice of shops and stores to offer our customers, it has created over 100 new jobs in the process, something which I know is very welcome, particularly at this time of year."
The centre is already home to stores including Ireland's only Forever 21, the world's largest New Look, and the biggest Next in the city centre.