Substance / Defined

Ireland’s business model has always had substance. From adding value to agricultural output to the manufacture of the world’s leading medicines and developing cutting edge digital technology; Ireland continues to layer substance on substance as market trends evolve.


Sustainability / Defined

Sustainability requires both our business model to evolve and succeed over time and for our economy to be a global leader in embracing the opportunities provided by the environmental sustainability revolution. Developing a model of sustainable substance will be the acid test of Ireland’s success over the next decade.



An evolving business model is one which is continuously adapting to change and seeking new opportunities and success in the face of ongoing disruption.

To ensure its sustainability, the Irish business model has successfully evolved at key junctures over recent decades. This was particularly evident in the evolution from labour intensive primary manufacturing to the world class, R&D driven, high tech manufacturing sector of today. As global business models face a further period of flux, past performance indicates that Ireland’s business model will successfully evolve and continue to win on a global level.

Global Footprint

Ireland clearly has an outsized footprint. From a population base of just 5 million people, Irish firms are market segment leaders across the globe with many having production, customer engagement and innovation functions in multiple jurisdictions.

Ireland has enshrined in law emissions reductions targets which are amongst the most ambitious globally. The coming decade will therefore see a transformation in the operating models of Irish firms, the benefits of which will be experienced right across their global supply chains and international production bases.

Full Business Lifecycle

A full business lifecycle involves successfully delivering high quality value creation in all elements of modern business activity. In Ireland this includes excellence in manufacturing, logistics, shared service provision, R&D, finance and marketing and sales functions.

Irish business continues to grow its level of innovation intensity, with an ever greater number of firms locating their global or European R&D and innovation centres to Ireland. This has been instrumental in supporting the full business lifecycle approach in Irish-based firms. It also means that businesses located in Ireland are very well placed to benefit from the innovation opportunities associated with carbon reduction and wider aspects of environmental sustainability. Ireland’s full business lifecycle approach will be particularly well suited to benefiting from opportunities provided through the circular economy.

World Class Economy

A broad range of cutting edge and world class functions are undertaken in Ireland, as demonstrated by the renowned excellence in manufacturing, superb quality metrics and the presence of global leaders in R&D and innovation functions.

A high quality, educated workforce, operating in a dynamic innovation ecosystem will be central to the capacity of firms to deliver more sustainable products and services. Ireland delivers on all of these requirements.


Global Hub

Ireland is a Global Hub where top international companies have converged to locate their headquarters. Ireland is now home to all of the top ten global technology companies, 18 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies and 18 of the top 25 medical technology companies.

As firms globally advance their strategies for sustainability, they will increasingly look to have a global footprint which matches their demand geography. Ireland, located in the world’s most prosperous market, with a population of 450 million, and strategically positioned geographically can become even more central to companies’ global supply strategies.


Ireland’s business model is characterised by a dynamic ecosystem of clusters involving multinationals in different sectors, generating local SMEs and partnering with the indigenous sector along with higher education, health and research institutions.

Future business success will be determined by the best talent, collaborating and innovating successfully in geographical proximity underpinned by world class infrastructure. Ireland is building an ecosystem which will continue to support the next generation of successful clusters, including those focused on the opportunities of the low carbon economy.

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