Dr Barry O’Connor, President of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), and Rory Fitzpatrick, CEO at National Space Centre Ltd (NSC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to underpin a joint commitment to deliver a shared agenda to maximise space industry opportunity in Ireland. Areas to be explored include the establishment of a Space Campus in Ireland with educational programs to support product and service development. The document was signed at Cork County Hall during Space Week on Friday last, 11 October.

As the size of the global space industry grows from its current value of $350 billion to a projected $1 trillion by 2030*, it is important that Ireland is well positioned to exploit rapidly developing opportunities and that both traditional and new businesses are aware of the opportunities afforded by the new, low-cost systems which can now be deployed in space. These new systems provide services that were previously unaffordable in areas such agri-technology, autonomous vehicles, broadband and imaging.

In order to ensure that these opportunities are not missed by relevant organisations in Ireland, CIT and NSC, based in Elfordstown, Midleton, have agreed to work together to:

  • Maximise the use of the assets of Ireland to create a vibrant space industry ecosystem
  • Promote Ireland as a hub for the international space industry
  • Create a space industry campus in Ireland Maximise the level of investment in space industry funding nationally
  • Create new educational programmes which support the development of the space industry
  • Attract traditional industry sectors to engage in space industry product and service development
  • Ensure that the citizens of Ireland engage with developments in “New Space” and the space industry generally.

Speaking at the signing CIT President Dr O’Connor stated “It is important that industry in Ireland is supported to exploit the excellent opportunities afforded by the rapidly developing space sector. CIT is very happy to collaborate with the NSC in providing this strategic support.”

Mr Fitzpatrick commented, “As the most westerly European location and closest teleport location to the US, Ireland is uniquely positioned to support space industry service providers and Cork is the perfect ‘place for space’. We are delighted to work with CIT to foster an ecosystem dedicated to space business.”

Photo: Michael O’Sullivan /OSM PHOTO