Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sean Fleming TD with Professor Eeva Leinonen, President of Maynooth University and Professor Markus Helfert, Director of IVI, at the launch of the Data Governance Roadmap for Ireland

The Innovation Value Institute (IVI) has announced a pioneering initiative, the ‘Data Governance Roadmap for Ireland’, launched today 12th of June by Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Seán Fleming TD, at IVI Summit 2024 in Maynooth University.

As one of the leading forums for data and digital discussion, the summit brought together international experts, policy leaders, practitioners and researchers over three days to shape the digital agenda on innovation and research.

This roadmap aims to foster responsible governance of data and artificial intelligence, leveraging data value as the basis of a sustainable information-enabled and data-informed society.

The roadmap will support fair and responsible value sharing from data across society and the development of data capabilities on a national, organisational and individual level, the alignment of data initiatives and standards, and the development and promotion of data literacy.

The roadmap will contribute to benefits that span organisations, individuals and wider society in a fair, responsible and human-centred way, that empowers users to share and use data while ensuring the protection of data and privacy concerns. Data and data governance are the lifeblood of the AI revolution, driving innovation and sustainability. Innovative data governance is the enabler, providing the necessary foundation, guidelines and infrastructures to harness the power of data responsibly, ethically and effectively.

Speaking on the initiative, Minister Seán Fleming said: “I am proud to launch and strongly support this Data Governance Roadmap for Ireland. It represents a clear vision for responsible governance of data and artificial intelligence, laying the foundation for a sustainable, data-informed society driven by research and innovation.”

Professor Eeva Leinonen, President of Maynooth University, highlighted the power of collaboration, stating: “This initiative highlights how important universities are in shaping our digital future through research, education, and partnerships. The roadmap sets a new standard for handling data responsibly, and showcases Maynooth University’s commitment to Ireland’s digital leadership.”

Professor Markus Helfert, Director of the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) at Maynooth University, emphasised the significance of the initiative, stating: “The Data Governance Roadmap for Ireland is not just a strategic necessity but a critical step towards a future where data serves as a cornerstone for national development and prosperity, supporting technological advancements while safeguarding the rights of data owners and data sharers.”

Developed in collaboration with experts in data governance, NSAI and members of the EMPOWER team across participating SFI Research Centres, the roadmap adopts a unique three-tiered approach, encapsulating individual, organisational, and national perspectives. It addresses the critical need for robust data governance structures while fostering an environment conducive to innovation and economic growth.

Aligned with EU Digital Decade policy targets and several other critical EU initiatives such as the Data Governance Act, Data Act and AI Act the initiative aims to bridge skills gaps and develop new competencies to tackle growing challenges across various sectors, including sustainability, security, and education.

The roadmap reflects Ireland’s commitment to maintaining leadership in information, data and digital innovation, setting highest standards for governance, promoting transparency, and ensuring equitable distribution of digital benefits that digital and data creates. It sets new benchmarks for success aligned to Ireland’s ambition to lead and set standards in Europe, inspiring other nations to follow suit.


IVI Director Professor Markus Helfert with MU President, Professor Eeva Leinonen, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Sean Fleming TD and Denise Manton, Executive Director of Empower at the launch