Space – the €125m opportunity

9 Dec 2005

In little over five years some 60 Irish companies have won European Space Agency (ESA) contracts worth an estimated €25m with spin-off business worth an estimated €100m.

It is understood that on average each of the 60 firms have won contracts worth €7m each year.

Chief executive of Enterprise Ireland (EI) Frank Ryan said that engaging in research and development (R&D) was a vital factor in the various companies’ success.

“R&D is a key focus of EI’s strategy, transforming Irish industry,” Ryan explained. “Irish companies and researchers have demonstrated an impressive ability to bring leading-edge technologies and world-class science to the European Space Programme. EI works very closely with Irish researchers and companies in advanced technologies, assisting them to participate in ESA programmes.

“ESA contracts provide multiple benefits for Irish firms. Participation in an ESA programme provides Irish firms with a strong endorsement that contributes to the reputations of the firms involved.

“The products and technologies developed as part of ESA programmes can be commercialised for sale to other industries. Companies that engage in long-term R&D projects as part of an ESA programme also strengthen their ability to innovate and develop significant intellectual property” Ryan said.

By John Kennedy