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Research carried out as part of Skillnet Ireland’s Industry Insights series highlights how digital transformation and converging technologies are key to the long-term success of the Irish screen industries.

The Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report was commissioned by Animation Skillnet in collaboration with Skillnet Ireland with research carried out by Strategic Innovation Partners. The report finds that for Ireland to continue its role as a global leader in the creative screen industries, it is vital that the talent base reflects not just the current business demands, but also the challenges of future growth in existing and new markets. A Feasibility Study for a Screen Industry Innovation Lab (SIIL) was commissioned by Screen Skillnet in collaboration with Skillnet Ireland with the research carried out by Tech Ireland.

Tracey Donnery, Director of Policy and Communications, Skillnet Ireland, said: “Despite disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ireland’s creative screen sectors are expected to grow rapidly over the coming decade. Skillnet Business Networks already provide extensive support to companies in developing the technical skills of businesses and workers in animation, digital screen and immersive technology sectors. These new reports offer additional insights into innovative ways the industry can plan ahead to ensure Ireland has the talent and skills pipeline we need for the creative sector to thrive.’

Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries

The Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report provides a number of action-oriented case studies on the impact of digital transformation on the future of work in the creative screen industries in Ireland. By examining the way in which a number of leading organisations have integrated digital technologies, solutions and approaches into their operations, it is intended that a better understanding of both the opportunities and challenges will emerge. The case studies further explore key drivers, outcomes and results of the changes, challenges encountered and lessons learned to inform future practice.  

Feasibility Study for SIIL

The Feasibility Study for SIIL which engaged businesses within the sector reveals there is overwhelming support for a Screen Industries Innovation Lab. The Lab would form an umbrella space for the screen industries of film, animation, games, augmented and virtual reality technologies to come together to drive innovation, enable collaboration, and make Ireland a global leader in the future of content production. The study notes there is a consensus that SIIL should focus on Training, Research, Information Sharing, and Collaboration, with physical and online elements. The study also proposes that the physical space for the Lab would ideally be co-located with digital production training facilities and research facilities. Meanwhile, the online element should focus on the meeting of minds, fostering a network for cooperation and collaboration and building a community.

Michael Culligan, CEO at Furthr, said: “Since 1988, Furthr (formerly Dublin BIC) has provided ambitious founders with everything they need to start and scale their businesses. From our deep engagement with creative companies who call the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) home to overseeing the three creative Skillnet Networks (Animation Skillnet, Screen Skillnet and Immersive Technologies Skillnet), Furthr are excited to see the launch of these two new reports which provides further evidence that embracing technology and upskilling talent is critical to creating a global competitive advantage for the creative industries.”

Laurie Knell, Director, Strategic Innovation Partners, noted the importance of businesses in the sector undertaking digital transformation and engagement with the Skillnet model.

“We are thrilled to be launching the Digital Transformation in the Screen Industries report today. Ultimately the report finds that successful longer-term digital transformation requires constant learning and adaptation. Organisations which undertake digital transformation must constantly seek to implement, learn, iterate and refine their digital processes and associated offerings. Working with Animation Skillnet on the project, we could really see the vital role that organisations such as Skillnet Ireland play in the future of work.”

 John O’Dea, CEO, Tech Ireland highlighted the feasibility study was based on an industry survey of more than 70 Irish businesses, as well as interviews with over 40 industry experts, both here and abroad. He said:

“Our research involved both a qualitative and quantitative approach. We are also extremely grateful for the support and input from the expert steering group from across the screen sectors. We hope this report is a useful first step towards realising SIIL, a creatively focused but technologically driven incubator for the Irish creative sector.”

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