Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (233)

Colm Brophy

Question:

233. Deputy Colm Brophy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of the National Space Strategy for Enterprise 2019-2025 and its goals. [53757/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The National Space Strategy for Enterprise 2019-2025 was launched on the 19th June 2019.  The strategy aims to support the development of an economically sustainable and expanding space active industry in Ireland.  

In order to achieve the vision, the strategy sets out six goals, as follows:

Double the space related revenue and employment in space-active Irish companies;

Support 100 companies to benefit from ESA engagement;

Double the value of contracts won through the EU Horizon programmes in space related activities;

Increase industry, public and international awareness of space and Ireland’s activities in space;

Develop and attract talent for space-active and related industries; and

Develop a sustainable Earth Observation services sector based on advanced data analytics capability.  

The strategy is currently in the implementation phase and activities that have taken place thus far include:

- In November 2019, at the triennial European Space Agency (ESA) Ministerial Council meeting, the Government committed to an investment of over €100m into ESA programmes for the period 2020 to 2024.  This investment into ESA is a significant increase when compared to the previous Ministerial meeting which took place in 2016, and it is anticipated that Ireland's investment will be leveraged further in the coming years through industry co-funding. 

- Ireland’s investment decisions at the Ministerial meeting were guided by the National Space Strategy for Enterprise and a focus was placed on programmes which will enable Irish companies to become actively engaged in technology transfer, which will support long-term quality employment and sustainable business by providing leading-edge solutions for both the space and complementary markets. The Government's investment will contribute towards the achievement of Goal 1 and Goal 2.

- In December 2019, the Government made a supplementary contribution of €5 million to ESA to fund ongoing industrial contracts between ESA and Irish companies to develop innovative technologies and services for the space market, in areas including Earth Observation, Launchers, Technology Support and Telecommunications. This supplementary investment will enable the Government's 2020 Exchequer allocation for ESA to fund new industrial activities between ESA and Irish companies, supporting the aims of the strategy to expand an economically sustainable space-active industry in Ireland.  

- As of December 2019, there are 70 companies engaged with ESA and the strategy is on track to achieve Goal 2 by 2025. 

- To support the achievement of Goal 4 and Goal 5, the Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr. John Halligan T.D. and my Department engaged with, and promoted National Space Week in collaboration with Blackrock Castle Observatory.

- A space industry day, where Irish companies engaged with ESA and three space prime companies, was hosted by Enterprise Ireland on 10 October 2019. Further activities are currently under development, in order to support the achievement of Goal 6.

- The Department is currently making preparations to establish the Space Enterprise Coordination Group.  This interdepartmental group will oversee the strategy and raise awareness across Government of the benefits and opportunities presented by space.