Irish industry soars into space
Ireland's economic success story is now proving that even the sky's not the limit. 'Ireland In Space - Its Industry and Expertise' is the latest industrial supplement of the European Space Agency's publication Preparing For The Future. The document brings together into a single location, data and information on an impressive 22 Irish companies already involved in the space industry.
'Space activities in Ireland today are many and varied and cover a number of key technological and scientific domains,' says Tony McDonald of Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation that assists with the development of Irish enterprise. 'More companies are getting involved all the time and I'll shortly be posting details of several more on our Space Ireland website. Irish companies have demonstrated a capacity to bring innovative and leading-edge technologies to the space community in a wide range of areas including satellite communications systems and services, advanced navigation applications, electronic and microelectronic components, software systems and services and precision engineering. A large number of these companies are actively exploiting their space technological capabilities in commercial markets.'
Irish firms are entitled to bid for contracts within those ESA projects in which Ireland participates. Currently these include the Launcher Programmes, the General Technology Support Programme, the Satellite Communications Programme, the Galileo Satellite Navigation Programme, the Life and Physical Sciences Programme and the Science and Technology Research Programmes. The breadth and depth of involvement reflects the success of the space strategy adopted by Ireland in 1995 of supporting high-tech developments with a view to their commercial exploitation in the global aerospace and telecommunications markets and the development of a research capability in space-related technologies.
Says Tony McDonald: 'Ireland In Space - Its Industry and Expertise is a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of Irish companies and their areas of competence and expertise, much of which has been developed and honed through their participation in ESA programmes and projects as a direct result of Ireland's Space Strategy.'
A copy of the 'Ireland In Space - Its Industry and Expertise' industrial supplement of Preparing For The Future is available at http://esapub.esrin.esa.it/pff/pff.htm. Enterprise Ireland has also relaunched Space Ireland, the section of its website dealing with the country's involvement in the space industry.