Creating jobs through investment in science, technology and innovation is key to economic recovery in the years ahead, Fianna Fail has said.
Micheal Martin has set out his party's aspirations to make Ireland the best place in Europe for firms to relocate to and turn research into jobs, products and services.
Outlining his latest policy paper in the General Election campaign, Mr Martin maintained Fianna Fail has been the only party in Government to show a commitment to science, technology and innovation.
"Our policy sets out a range of specific actions and gives details of funding for basic research, applied research, and direct company support," said Mr Martin. "It will generate the ideas to give Ireland a competitive edge and then translate these ideas into jobs."
He went on: "It is a joined-up policy which shows how Ireland can exploit the opportunities in key areas, especially life sciences, software and green enterprise.
"We believe that Ireland can be a global innovation hub.
"This is not an empty phrase, it is achievable with the right policies - delivering high-quality employment which is sustainable and competitive."
Mr Martin maintained his party's plan to restore stability to the public finances was the only one to support the key sectors.
He said he also aims to make Ireland the best place in Europe to start and grow innovative companies and for research-intensive multinationals to collaborate with each other and with clusters of small companies.
"When it comes to attracting multi-million investments to this country, as well as helping Irish companies to establish and grow, investment in ideas and people is the biggest competitive edge we can have," he added.