Enterprise Ireland has signed an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a Space Business Incubation Centre in Ireland.
The signing took place during the Enterprise Ireland trade and investment mission to the Netherlands and Germany led by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD.
The space business incubator has the objective of supporting 25 start-up companies in space-related technologies over the next five years.
There are currently over 45 Irish companies working with ESA in the development of highly innovative technologies for the global market in space systems and space related services and applications.
Speaking from the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, the Taoiseach said: “This partnership between the European Space Agency and Enterprise Ireland will mean that Irish businesses and their innovators will be at the frontier of new space technologies. Ireland already has a proud record of building up a cluster of space technology companies and this new space incubator will take advantage of Government investment in research infrastructure in Ireland, the extensive network of technical facilities and expertise of the ESA, as well as the business development resources of Enterprise Ireland. I am proud of the Irish companies here today who are representing our country in the evolution of the space industry”.
Enterprise Ireland client companies who participated in the Trade and Investment Mission visit to ESTEC included Arralis, Curtis Wright, Enbio, Radisens Diagnostics and Treemetrics.
The Irish Government’s annual investment in ESA is supporting strong growth in the sector in Ireland generating annual revenues estimated at €76m in 2015.
This investment has also resulted in the creation of 600 high value technology jobs in Irish industry, projected to double by 2020.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, commented: “This agreement 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.”