21/06/2016

DG Of European Space Agency Praises Irish Space Sector

The newly appointed Director General (DG) of the European Space Agency, Jan Woerner, is in Ireland to set out his plans for the European Space Sector and the role Ireland can play.

Welcoming Mr Woerner to Ireland, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor, said: "I am delighted to welcome Mr. Woerner to Ireland today. The European Space Agency plays a critical role in developing the Irish space industry particularly SME and High Potential Start-Up sectors. This is an exciting time for the Irish space industry and with the support of my Department and Enterprise Ireland the Irish space sector is set to expand at an unprecedented rate over the next few years. ESA has had some remarkable achievements in recent years more recently the Rosetta Mission's rendevous with Comet 67P last year.

"Our investment in ESA will manifest itself through new companies entering the space sector, scaling of existing companies and the development of a strong cohort of high technology start-ups, leading to increased sales, exports and jobs. Investment in ESA space programmes, given the pace of expansion of the Global and European space economies, will put high-tech Irish companies and researchers in a position to exploit this potential to the maximum."

As part of his visit the European Space Agency and the Tyndall National Institute signed an agreement establishing a Space Business Incubation Centre in Ireland which will target support for 25 Irish Start-up companies in space related technologies by 2020.

Speaking during his visit Mr Woerner said: "Global space economy is undergoing rapid change as more countries enter the 21st century space race. Given the high level of technology innovation we have seen in Ireland, Irish space companies are ideally placed to gain a significant share of the global space market and are already expanding rapidly into it."

(MH/LM)

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