The “Space for Growth” conference was organised by the Irish Space Industry Group in collaboration with Space Industry Skillnet and Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) to bring interested parties together for the first time to explore the exciting and inspiring activities already taking place in the Irish space sector. The conference also discussed the development of a strategy for realizing Ireland’s economic and social potential from the growing global space economy in both upstream and downstream markets. This first Irish Space Industry Conference in November 2017 was attended by more than 50 key people representing companies, researchers and Government agencies active in the space sector in Ireland. Dr Sarah Bourke and Jacinta Snow from Skytek both attended the conference.
John Halligan TD, Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development at the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, who opened the conference, said “Today’s conference is an important event for Ireland’s rapidly growing space sector. An increasing range of Irish companies are involved in the development of space related products and services. These companies, through Ireland’s membership of the European Space Agency, which is supported by the Irish Government through Enterprise Ireland, can access and exploit opportunities in the expanding global commercial space market.”
“As well as AIT being a location of ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland since 2016, the recent announcement of funding for a new STEM building at AIT will help meet the need for STEM skills in the growing space sector in Ireland. In that context and in this Science Week, AIT is particularly honoured to host this important first industry Conference for the Irish space sector” said Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President of AIT.
Spokesperson for the Irish Space Industry Group, Lorraine Hanlon, Professor of Astronomy at UCD and CEO of Parameter Space said “Several Irish companies have had notable successes in winning business in the global space sector. The space education and research communities are also dynamic and internationally competitive. This conference provides an opportunity for all those with an involvement in space to begin formulating a coherent vision for a national space strategy that fulfils national needs while responding to global opportunities and challenges.”