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Ireland’s investment in European Space Agency expected to double employment in the space sector to over 1,000 high value technology jobs in Irish industry over the next four years

Ireland’s investment in European Space Agency expected to double employment
in the space sector to over 1,000 high value technology jobs in Irish
industry over the next four years.

Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor welcomes Johann-Dietrich Woerner –
Director General of European Space Agency to Ireland - Immense
opportunities for Irish companies in Space Sector

Agreement between The Tyndall National Institute and ESA on the
establishment of a Space Business Incubator in Ireland - supporting 25
Irish Start-up companies in space related technologies by 2020

21 June 2016

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD
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 he set out his plans
for the European Space Sector and role which Ireland can play.

Welcoming Mr. Woerner to the Department, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise &
Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said “I am delighted to welcome Mr.
Woerner to Ireland today. The European Space Agency plays a critical role
in developing the Irish space industry particularly SME and High Potential
Start-Up sectors. 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”.

The Minister continued “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. ”

Also welcoming Mr. Woerner to the Department Minister for Training and
Skills John Halligan TD said “Ireland is an active and proud member State
of ESA for over 40 years. Membership of ESA provides Ireland’s businesses
with access to a €5 billion per year technology development organisation
that has no equal anywhere outside NASA along with greatly improved access
to Global and European institutional space clients, prime contractors and
technology supply chains.” I as Minister with responsibility for Innovation
will continue to support Ireland’s science sector through the
implementation of Innovation 2020 – Ireland’s Strategy for Research and
Development, Science and Technology. Investment in the Irish Space Sector
will help achieve key targets in the Plan particularly in relation to
Business Expenditure on R&D and Ireland’s R&D intensity.

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.

Speaking during his visit to Ireland 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

Ireland’s investment in ESA has contributed to the development of a highly
knowledge-intensive industry sector with a demonstrated direct effect on
the participating companies’ ability to generate commercial export sales in
the commercial space and non-space market.” He added that “ESA provides a
platform to accelerate the significant exploitation of the Global and
European space markets and the level of investment represents a fraction of
the total economic benefits.”

The Irish Government's annual investment in ESA is supporting strong growth
in the sector in Ireland with the number of companies in the sector
expected to expand to over 80 by 2020, generating annual revenues growing
from €76 million in 2015 to €135 million by 2020. This investment will also
double employment with the creation of over 1,000 high value technology
jobs in Irish industry by 2020. Companies involved with ESA are also
projected to increase combined turnover from €274 million to over half a
billion by 2020.

He added that “a unique and unprecedented set of economic circumstances and
commercial opportunities are available to Ireland and Irish Industry to
capitalise on past and future investment in ESA which will generate
significant economic impact through new company formation, scaling, new
MNCs, increased high value long term employment, rapidly increasing
turnover and exports and additional and increasing levels of Business
Expenditure on R&D. The Director General expressed the hope that Ireland
would continue to increase its level of investment in ESA at the upcoming
ESA Ministerial Council in December 2016.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland added: “I am delighted that the
Director of ESA is visiting Ireland at this point. Ireland’s investment in
ESA programmes will foster increased innovation and business development
opportunities within the space industry and research sectors in Ireland and
Europe. It will also support Enterprise Ireland client companies who are
developing new and innovative technologies for the European Space Programme
and the global space market.“

Following the signing of the agreement between ESA and the Tyndall National
Institute as Host of the ESA Business Incubation Centre Kieran Drain
Tyndall CEO said “We are very excited to lead the ESA Business Incubation
Centre in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology, National
University of Ireland Maynooth, and Irish Maritime and Energy Resource
Cluster. The Centre funded by ESA and Enterprise Ireland will support
entrepreneurs and start-ups working in space related technologies that can
be applied in both terrestrial and space exploration contexts. The ESA
Business Incubation Centre programme is well known for its success in
developing innovative stat-ups, products and technologies.”


Photos to follow from Fennells Photography

For further information please contact:

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. P: (01) 631 2200

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland. P: (01)
7272178 M: +353 (087) 9671342


Innalabs is one of a growing number of highly innovative Irish technology
companies securing ESA contracts with the active support of Enterprise
Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The total
number of Irish companies currently, or recently, active in ESA programmes
is over 50 and growing.

The European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an
intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape
the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in
space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA
develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep
Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today it launches
satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and
astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and
cooperates in the human exploration of space.

ESA plays a critical role in developing a strong European Space programme
and space industry and has been fundamental to in developing the
specialised, highly innovative, industrial capabilities that exist in the
Irish space sector. ESA :-
Ø Provides a significant capital investment support for in-company & 3
rd level RDI in leading edge space technologies for commercial
exploitation in the global space and non-space markets for the SME
and MNC sector.

Ø Supports the Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland strategy of
supporting high potential start-ups, company scaling, as well as
foreign direct investment.

Ø Provides prioritised support for technology innovation and technology
transfer that leads to exports, sales and employment generation by
Irish industry.

Ø A platform to fully exploit the opportunities of the Global space
market and maximise the financial return and economic impacts of
Ireland’s financial contributions to the EU space programme budgets.

Ø Contributes directly BERD and HERD, to all metrics and targets in
Innovation 2020, Enterprise 2025 and EI and IDA Strategies.

More details on Enterprise Ireland, managing Ireland’s investment in the
European Space Agency

Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research
participation in the programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA) in
collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The purpose of Ireland’s membership of ESA is to participate in European
space programmes with a focus on facilitating innovative Irish companies to
develop leading edge space technologies and to commercially exploit their
ESA participation in global space and non-space markets, leading to
increased export sales and employment.

Enterprise Ireland’s role in relation to ESA is to assist Irish companies
to successfully bid for ESA contracts, providing expertise for Irish
companies and researchers in developing and executing space strategies, as
well as being a point of reference for the international space industry
when they want to identify relevant sources of space-related expertise
within Ireland.

Irish industrial and research participation in ESA covers a range of
sectors and technology areas including; software, precision mechanical
engineering, telecommunications, electronics, optoelectronics and advanced
materials and extending to end user equipment, services and applications.

Mr. Woerner will also meet with the Irish Space Industry Group to reaffirm
ESA’s commitment to support the expanding the Irish space sector including
SMEs and High Potential Start-up companies.

The Director General will also visit TCD in the afternoon to set out his
vision and ambitions for a United Space in Europe and Ireland’s role in the
global space economy.

Later in the day he will visits an Irish space technology company Innalabs
– based in Blanchardstown as an example of one of a number of high
technology Irish firms entering the space market.