'1,800 jobs' from Irish design plan
Up to 1,800 jobs will be created as part of an all-island drive to promote Irish design across the world, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has announced.
Launching a year-long programme of more than 300 events at home and overseas - dubbed Irish Design 2015 - Mr Bruton said it will showcase designers and boost exports by as much as 10 million euro.
"In Ireland we have many great businesses producing excellent design," he said.
"The challenge for Government is to showcase these brilliant businesses around the world and support them in selling their goods and services to foreign buyers.
"That is why we have named 2015 the year of Irish design, and why we will be supporting a comprehensive programme of national and international events.
"This will facilitate more sales for more Irish businesses, and crucially 1,800 badly needed extra jobs at home in Ireland."
The initiative aims to help create 200 new design-led business start-ups, showcase more than 300 companies in international trade missions and events, and bring Irish design to an audience of more than three million at home and abroad.
A design innovation fund is being set up for companies across the island of Ireland.
The work of Irish designers will be displayed at international events such as Milan and Dutch Design Weeks, London Festival of Architecture, London and Paris Fashion Weeks, London Design Festival and Chicago Architecture Biennial.
An international trade fund will help Irish designers and companies break into international markets, the Government says, while Dublin has been designated World Design Hub 2015 by the International Association of Designers.
Libraries are also being encouraged to celebrate local designers with "Celebrate Your Local Design Hero" events, workshops and mini festivals.
Business Minister Ged Nash said the year will celebrate the best of Irish design with a specific focus on creating jobs.
"When many of us think of design, we might think about architecture or fashion or crafts," he said.
"But, design is about so much more - from film and animation, to medical devices to the Philae craft landing on a comet last month - all are design-focused and Ireland has some world class talent in this field."