A position paper entitled “A Roadmap for Building a Strong Space Industry” to be presented to Irish Government representatives in August detailing opportunities for Irish companies in the sector
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The arrival of the global space industry to Cork for the International Space University’s 30th Space Studies Program (SSP17), the largest space event to ever take place in Ireland or the UK, offers a unique chance for Irish businesses to explore the enormous opportunities available, an industry that has yet to reach its full potential in Ireland.

320 international space experts from 26 different countries will take part in the programme for 9 weeks examining all aspects of space and its related enterprises; from engineering, science, and applications to law, business, humanities, and human performance in outer space.

Many Irish businesses feel that the mind-boggling concepts of Space are overwhelming and are best left to the experts, but if you analyse exactly how space exploration happens, it quickly becomes apparent that even the most complex space related tasks cannot be completed without a multitude of components and services that we are well-equipped to provide here in Ireland. Incredibly, there are already over 40 Irish companies involved in servicing the international space industry.

Individual companies are responsible for each and every part of a space mission. Each nut, each bolt, each piece of electrical wiring must be manufactured and delivered. Fuel must be provided. For manned missions, oxygen has to be available to last the entire trip. Suitable clothing must be fabricated and specialised food prepared and packaged. The health of the astronauts and the performance of the spacecraft must be monitored. Legal services, financial services, banking and accounting services all have critical roles to play. None of this complex matrix is possible without business and commerce playing its part.

The breadth of disciplines whose businesses can benefit from space is extraordinarily large and the International Space University will help to get that message across during the 9 weeks that SSP17 is based here in Cork.

Those sectors include, but are not limited to, environment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, energy (electricity generation and energy infrastructure), transport (aviation, road, rail, waterborne), telecommunications, security & defence, border control, civil protection, migration, marine and maritime activities, agriculture, education, manufacturing, data analytics, health and leisure activities, space law and architecture.

The global space economy is worth more than €300 billion worldwide and over the next four years, Ireland will spend over €300 million on space activities. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has ambitious targets for growing the Irish space industry base and the associated support framework over the coming years:

  • Doubling of economic impact by 2020 – exports, jobs, BERD
  • Increased number and scale of companies – from 40 to 80 companies
  • Coherent & comprehensive national coordination of space policy (DJEI/EI)
  • Establishment of the ESA Business Incubation Centre
  • Increased participation in the ESA Science programme
  • Ireland seen as critical space technologies hub
  • Expansion of export markets outside Europe
  • Expansion of the downstream sector

Ireland has increased its contribution to the European Space Agency (ESA) which will see the amount of Irish space sector jobs rise to over 1000 by 2020. The establishment of an ESA Space Solutions incubator in Ireland will provide seed money and technical assistance to companies related to the space sector and the recent announcement that Ireland will build its first small satellite affirms the growing appetite to become part of the global space industry.

Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, said “Cork is a hub for entrepreneurial activities and space technology innovation. There is now a rapidly expanding range of space technology companies in Cork and in Ireland.”

The Minister praised the efforts of Cork Institute of Technology and partners for their ambition which has made this space event the single largest event ever of its kind in Ireland and expressed the hope that, over the summer, the event “will exceed all expectations and be the most memorable and productive national and international event in the 30 year history of the ISU Space Studies Programme.”

One unique output from SSP17 will be a position paper entitled “A Roadmap for Building a Strong Space Industry” to be presented to Irish Government representatives at the closing ceremony on 25 August. This legacy document will inform a National Space Strategy and act as a guide for how that might be translated into policy initiatives. This expertly-informed position paper on how Ireland might maximise its next phase of participation in the global space industry will be one of the tangible outputs from SSP17, emanating from the ISU community and from the Irish Space Industry itself.

It is expected that SSP17 will offer valuable support to the rapidly growing Irish space sector; be they startups, SMEs or, potentially, MNCs. The same will also be true for the 40 Irish companies including Curtiss Wright, Treemetrics, Radisen Diagnostics and Marine Applications – who are already successfully servicing the industry and wish to grow their business.

The Space Studies Program will also organise visits by SSP17 participants to companies referenced in the “Ireland’s Space Endeavours” brochure, prepared by Enterprise Ireland.

New windows of opportunity don’t appear on the horizon that often. But this promises to be one of those occasions where the sky is no longer the limit for your business!

The Space Studies Program will also open young people’s eyes to the excitement of science, leading them, hopefully, to pursue a career in one of the many STEM disciplines. There will be numerous opportunities for engagement with young (and not so young) students, adding an important educational element to the event.

As for public involvement, in all there are 50 events at which the public may attend ranging from rocket launches to a discussion forum with five astronauts live on stage. Such is the interest amongst the general public that a number of events are already sold out.

To paraphrase Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise – it’s time for Ireland to “Engage”.

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/space-ssp17.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/space-ssp17-300x300.jpgJames HarringtonNewsEuropean Space Agency,space
The arrival of the global space industry to Cork for the International Space University’s 30th Space Studies Program (SSP17), the largest space event to ever take place in Ireland or the UK, offers a unique chance for Irish businesses to explore the enormous opportunities available, an industry that has...