Ireland’s investment in the European Space Agency (ESA ) is expected to double employment in the space sector to more than 1,000 high value technology jobs in Irish industry during the next four years.
This comes after an agreement between The Tyndall National Institute in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ), Maynooth University, and ESA on the establishment of a Space Business Incubator in Ireland - supporting 25 Irish start-up companies in space-related technologies by 2020.
Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, president of AIT, said: “I am delighted that Athlone is a collaborator in this initiative. We view ourselves as a highly innovative institution with a strong focus on research and to be involved in the establishment of a Space Business Incubator which will support 25 start-ups in this sector is very exciting for us.
"Ireland is on par with Madrid and Paris in terms of one million plus investment start-ups, even though we’re only a fifth of the size of London, so this agreement is a great step forward in adding to that start-up community.”
The number of companies in the sector is expected to expand to more than 80 by 2020, generating annual revenues growing from €76 million in 2015 to €135 million by 2020. This investment will also double employment with the creation of more than 1,000 high value technology jobs in Irish industry by 2020.
Danny Gleeson, chairman of the Irish Space Industry Group, said: "The Irish Space Industry Group, based in the Midlands Innovation & Research Centre at AIT, fully supports the initiative from ESA and Enterprise Ireland to establish the national space business incubation network led by consortium partners Tyndall, AIT, Maynooth, and IMERC.
"It is essential for the future of the Irish space sector to have a dedicated incubation and support environment to develop new Irish space related start-ups in this exciting growth area of the national and global economies."