ESA signs €633,000 contract with Taoglas to commercialise IoT tech

27 Jan 2017

IoT city. Image: chombosan/Shutterstock

It has been a successful week for the Irish space industry as the European Space Agency (ESA) reveals it has signed a €633,000 contract with Wexford-based Taoglas to commercialise its telecoms technology.

Founded in 2008 by two Irish entrepreneurs, Ronan Quinlan and Dermot O’Shea, Taoglas is a provider of antenna products and radio frequency solutions, particularly within the internet of things (IoT) ecosystem.

As the ‘Irish high king of IoT’, Taoglas is a major player in IoT antenna technology with subsidiaries and design, engineering and testing facilities in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, as well as the US, Germany and Taiwan.

Creating jobs

The company has managed to secure a lucrative contract with the ESA worth €633,000, with support from Enterprise Ireland, the coordinating body for ESA in Ireland.

Taoglas said the funding has contributed towards the research, development and commercialisation of its ZRM project.

This project combines the antenna elements, data router and Wi-Fi transceiver into a technology platform to provide an always-online solution for fixed and mobile applications.

With this additional funding, Taoglas has been able to employ six engineers to develop the ZRM project, but it has plans to recruit more over the next 12 months at its Wexford facility.

The company also claims that it has received significant interest from within the IoT marketplace, particularly from major multinational router companies, to fully commercialise the design.

Second Irish ESA deal in a week

Quinlan, Taoglas’s joint managing director, said: “Current solutions for complete connectivity utilise separate routers, antennas and multiple cables. They are complex and costly to install and may not be 100pc reliable due to the cable insertion losses.

“We identified and addressed a need from our customers for a technology platform that is versatile and scalable, with the backhaul capabilities to provide sufficient bandwidth for mobile applications such as rail, buses and marine.”

Meanwhile, Enterprise Ireland’s ESA programme manager, Tony McDonald, said: “Taoglas represents one of a growing number of Irish companies benefiting from ESA support in the expanding IoT market.

“We expect to see further participation by Enterprise Ireland client companies in this specific sub sector in 2017.”

This week also saw the ESA invest another sum of money in Irish businesses, having agreed a deal with OCE Technology to use its software debug tool aboard satellites and spacecraft in Earth’s orbit.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic