Updated: NASA research alliance with Ireland: no announcement due this week

11 Jul 2012

NASA administrator Charles Frank Bolden, Jr

While reports had been circulating in the media today claiming that space agency NASA had selected Ireland as its first international research partner, it appears that NASA is not set to make an official announcement on this scientific alliance this week.

An article in The Irish Times today posited that the space agency has chosen the Republic as its first global research partner, claiming it will be partnering with Irish universities. The aim of the alliance, according to the article, would be to give scientists the opportunity to work at research facilities in the area of science and engineering in the US.

However, since the article emerged, a source at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin told Siliconrepublic.com that NASA will not be making such an announcement this week about a scientific research alliance with Ireland. Despite this, it would appear that talks have been in progress.

NASA administrator Charles Frank Bolden, Jr is set to give a talk at Trinity College Dublin tomorrow as part of the Euroscience Open Forum that’s taking place in the city between now and Sunday. He will be sharing his experiences of working at NASA.

The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) is officially opening in Dublin this evening. Between now and Sunday, the city will be a mecca for science, technology and innovation, as the world’s scientific community will be converging in the Irish capital. In addition, ESOF will host the Europe-US Symposium on the Atlantic Ocean as a shared resource.

Other events include an international electric vehicle summit that’s taking place in Dublin to today to bring together global experts in the electric car space to discuss developments in the electromobility area, as well as technological advances.

Dublin edged ahead of Vienna as the city to host the 2012 ESOF.

Speakers at ESOF over the coming days will include Nobel prize winners, including Jules Hoffmann, the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology; James D Watson, one of the discoverers of DNA in 1953, and a Nobel Laureate (1962); and British astrophysicist Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, director-general of the European Space Agency, will also be speaking at ESOF.

As for Bolden, he began his duties as the twelfth administrator of NASA in July 2009, having been nominated by President Barack Obama. He leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the agency’s missions and goals.

Bolden’s 34-year career with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Office.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic