Government sets out national Space Strategy for Enterprise

Ariane 5 launch vehicle (Image: ESA)

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19 February 2018 | 0

The Government has announced the set-up of Ireland’s first national Space Strategy for Enterprise by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said the strategy will set out how Ireland can maximise the benefit of its investment in the European Space Agency (ESA) and in the European Union’s (EU) flagship space programmes, Copernicus, Galileo and Horizon 2020.

A steering group is to be established in the coming weeks to oversee the development of the Space Strategy, which will include a consultation process to seek views from interested parties on how Ireland can best exploit opportunities in space enterprise.

“The space sector is undergoing a significant and rapid transformation,” said Minister Halligan. “It’s evolving from a sector where activities are funded purely by governments to one that relies more on private investments to fund commercial activities.”

“More than sixty Irish companies are currently benefiting from contracts with ESA, with five new companies expected to enter the sector each year between now and 2020. Employment in Irish companies which benefit from ESA contracts is expected to double from 2,000 in 2014 to over 4,500 in 2020. By developing this Strategy, the Department will ensure that companies already working in this sector can expand, and that opportunities for new entrants are identified. The Strategy will also seek to identify and explore potential synergies with other sectors, such as ICT and Aerospace,” said the Minister.

The announcement was made at InnaLabs headquarters in Blanchardstown, the technology company that has just secured its biggest contract to date with ESA. The company will develop, manufacture and test a highly reliable, radiation-hardened, 3-axis gyroscope. The €2.6 million contract is expected to produce technology that will serve a large spectrum of commercial space activities including Earth observation, communications and navigation satellites.

 

 

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