Manufacturing plays a crucial role in any economy. Manufacturing is a driver of innovation and technological advance, provides employment across a broad range of skills levels, and generates additional indirect jobs throughout the economy. The Action Plan for Jobs 2012 sees manufacturing as essential for a return to more sustainable export-led growth. This strategy has been developed in response to the Action to: Develop a long term vision for the manufacturing sector and put in place a strategic plan that will help to realise this vision. This strategy looks at how manufacturing in Ireland can best compete over the period to 2020 in the context of the disruptive changes underway globally. Forfás has consulted extensively with industry, the enterprise development agencies, academia and key stakeholders in developing this strategy. The Manufacturing Development Forum established in 2012 by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation was a valuable source of insights throughout the process.