Galway firm wins space agency contracts

28 Jun 2010

A company formed in 2006 to develop new technologies for space launchers and satellites, ÉireComposites Teoranta, has won contracts worth €1.9m with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD made the announcement about the firm, which is based in Indreabhán, Co Galway and will employ three new engineering graduates to work on the project.

The Government invests €14.5m annually in the ESA, which enables firms to bid for technology development contracts.

ÉireComposites Teoranta won the contracts to develop technologies for next-generation space launchers and satellites with the support of Enterprise Ireland.

Its technology is in the design and processing of advanced lightweight composite materials that can be used in aircraft, wind turbines, automotives and spacecraft.

The ESA contracts will allow the company to develop the lightweight materials to withstand extreme temperatures, pressures and turbulence and at the same time reduce spacecraft weight and the launch costs.

Formed in 2006 through a merger

ÉireComposites Teoranta was formed in April 2006 from a merger of four composites companies: Irish Composites (Ábhair Cumaisc Teo.); Composites Testing Laboratory (CTL Tástáil Teo.), PPA Teo. and Gaoth-Tec Teo. It employs 55 people.

Joint managing director of ÉireComposites Teoranta, Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, said: “Winning ESA contracts is an important factor in developing our company’s technical capabilities and will position the company to grow in both the space and aerospace market.

“With the support of Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta, I am looking forward to developing EireComposites into one of Europe’s leading firms in the commercial space and aerospace markets.”

Announcing the contracts in Galway today, Minister O’Keeffe said: “The success of ÉireComposites Teoranta in securing these ESA contracts shows how small rural Irish companies can compete with other players by focusing on innovation and human capital.

“Ireland’s membership of the ESA has helped over 50 Irish firms to secure contracts worth more than €60 million in the past decade.

“A growing number of high-tech firms are emerging in the space technology sector and Ireland is developing a strong reputation for bringing advanced innovation to the space programme.”