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Ireland’s investment in European Space Agency expected to double employment

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Director General of the European Space Agency Johann-Dietrich Woerner

Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor welcomed the recently appointed Director General of the European Space Agency Jan Woerner to Ireland.  On his visit he saw for himself the rapid expansion of the Irish space sector in Ireland and set out his plans for the European Space Sector and role Ireland can play.

Welcoming Mr. Woerner to the Department, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:

This is an exciting time for the Irish space industry and with the support of my Department and Enterprise Ireland the Irish space sector is set to expand at an unprecedented rate over the next few years. ESA has had some remarkable achievements in recent years more recently the Rosetta Mission’s rendevous with Comet 67P last year.

Our investment in ESA will manifest itself through new companies entering the space sector, scaling of existing companies and the development of a strong cohort of high technology start-ups, leading to increased sales, exports and jobs.  Investment in ESA space programmes, given the pace of expansion of the Global and European space economies, will put high-tech Irish companies and researchers in a position to exploit this potential to the maximum.

As part of his visit the European Space Agency and the Tyndall National Institute (as Host in partnership with Maynooth University and Athlone Institute of Technology) signed an agreement establishing a Space Business Incubation Centre in Ireland which will target support for 25 Irish Start-up companies in space related technologies by 2020.

Mr Jan Woerner said:

Global space economy is undergoing rapid change as more countries enter the 21st century space race.    Given the high level of technology innovation we have seen in Ireland, Irish space companies are ideally placed to gain a significant share of the global space market and are already expanding rapidly into it.

Read the full press release here.