Belfast Telegraph

'Economy-boosting' projects chosen

Two innovative projects have won a national contest aimed at boosting the economy and creating jobs.

The establishment of a Global Media Hub and the development of Ireland as a Data Island were announced as the two top ideas in the Your Country Your Call (YCYC) competition.

The scheme - the brainchild of President Mary McAleese and her husband, Dr Martin McAleese - was designed to get the country back on its feet.

The winners - Neil Leyden and father and son Cianan Clancy and Colm MacFhlannachadha - were presented with a trophy and 100,000 euro each. Both also get the support of a project team and a development fund of up to 500,000 euro each.

Chair of judges, David Byrne, said the winners had demonstrated most effectively, and in practical terms, how the resources that YCYC will now make available to each could be used.

"We now move into another phase where it is not just the quality of the initial thinking but the vision for its implementation that is relevant," he said.

"We have encountered some really great thinking over the past few months and I am confident that the competition has been a catalyst for exploring new ideas and opportunities."

Mr Leyden, a screenwriter and digital media consultant, proposed that Ireland become a global media hub for the creation and distribution of media and digital content.

He envisages the idea will create of in the region of 5,000 jobs directly, with many more created indirectly.

Elsewhere Mr Clancy and Mr MacFhlannachadha, from Skerries, Co Dublin, proposed to build a world-beating entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem around digital services. They hope it will create 4,000 jobs.

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