Five ideas have been chosen for the final of the ‘Your Country, Your Call’  competition,  a nationwide effort to try and get Ireland out of its economic slump.

Members of the public were asked to submit proposals to a specially selected board. Two of the projects will now be given start up funding totaling $600,000 each.

The competition, was created by Dr Martin McAleese, husband of President Mary McAleese.

The winner will be chosen after two days of presentations and challenges, on September 16th and 17th.

Ireland’s former European Commissioner David Byrne is heading the judging panel. He said the standard of presentations by the 20 semi-finalists was very impressive.

“We are delighted that the selection process has unearthed such a diverse range of possibilities,” he said.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Éamon Ryan said  the new ideas were very important.

“This country needs a new direction and new ideas,” he remarked. “We need to brand our country internationally as progressive and moving away from the legacy of boom and bust.”

Dr. McAleese said it was critically important that the positive momentum generated was sustained.

“Moving further into the implementation phase will present exciting opportunities, and I look forward to the two winning proposals being actively supported and encouraged by all those who are working to secure economic prosperity for our citizens.”

The Five finalists are:
1 The creation of a “Superbrand” to market Irish tourism and food.

The proposal is to create a new “Superbrand” to market Irish tourism and food, North and South, under the one banner. The proposer, Brody Sweeney, is from Sandymount in Dublin. He has been involved in a number of retail chains as well as business charity Connect Ethiopia.

2 An opportunity for Ireland to become a global media hub.

The proposal sets out to create an Irish Content Industry Association which would then drive the development of a cultural and creative quarter. A media park would be established to attract global content industries. The proposer, Neil Leyden, is a screen writer and digital media consultant.

3 Establishing an intellectual property-based financial securities market.

The proposal deals with positioning Ireland centrally in the knowledge economy by setting up an intellectual property services center anchored around an IP-based exchange.

The proposer, Gordan Hyland, is originally from Belfast.

4 The installation of Solar PV Electricity Generation on existing wind farms.

The proposal is to install large-scale solar photovoltaic panels on existing wind farm sites, utilising the existing land, electrical infrastructure and grid connections. The project has been proposed by electrical engineer Peter Enda Kavanagh.

5 The Data Island Strategy.

The Data Island Strategy sets out to build a world-beating entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem around digital services aimed at positioning Ireland at the forefront of its associated spin-off industries.