News & Events

Minister Halligan launches Public Consultation for Ireland’s Space Strategy for Enterprise

The Public Consultation seeks views from stakeholders to inform the development of Ireland’s Space Strategy for Enterprise

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan TD, published a consultation document for Ireland’s Space Strategy for Enterprise. The consultation document seeks input from stakeholders on issues to be considered in the development of Ireland’s Space Strategy for Enterprise. The strategy will set out how Ireland will maximise on its investment in space within the evolving global space market, which is expanding to present numerous opportunities for private industry and researchers. The consultation will be open for input from 11am today until the 27th August 2018.

In recognising the expanding global space sector, Enterprise 2025, Ireland’s National Enterprise Policy, identified the space sector as a new area of opportunity for Ireland. Furthermore, the National Development Plan called out a New Space Technologies Programme as a Strategic Investment Priority, 2018–2027. In order to seize the opportunities presented by the growing global space sector, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland are currently developing a strategy with the key objective, to develop a strong and sustainable space industry in Ireland and to optimise and grow the economic return from Ireland’s investment in space. Ireland primarily invests in space through its membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union space programmes, Copernicus, Galileo and also, Horizon 2020.

Speaking about the consultation and strategy, Minister Halligan said: “On foot of the expanding space sector, the time is now ripe for Ireland to develop a Space Strategy for Enterprise. The strategy will set out how Ireland can maximise the benefit of its investment in space for industry, researchers, citizens and the wider economy. The consultation process will inform the final strategy and help determine what actions the Government can take to develop a strong and sustainable sector in Ireland.

“Companies involved in the space sector in Ireland increasingly come from a broad range of disciplines and include companies without a conventional space background. A growing number of Irish companies, including SMEs and start-up companies, are winning contracts with the European Space Agency. I would strongly encourage all companies to read the consultation paper and consider its relevance to them”.

In recent years the global space sector has been undergoing a major change, as the global space market has expanded from largely Government-driven projects to increased participation by private industry, often referred to as ‘NewSpace’. This trend is being driven by several factors, such as the increasing demand for communication services, location information and space-derived data. ‘New Space’ has opened up opportunities for private enterprises, research centres and entrepreneurs working in many sectors not traditionally associated with space, such as data analytics, software, data systems and advanced materials as well as the more obvious sectors, including electronics, opto-electronics, telecommunications geo-science and astrophysics. With support from ESA, and also Enterprise Ireland, which supports Irish companies to successfully bid for ESA contracts, Irish industry are progressively establishing themselves in this sector and are increasingly winning contracts to develop technologies, products and services for the commercial space market.

The consultation process will help to identify the opportunities and challenges within the evolving international space sector, and importantly, what action can be taken to seize these opportunities and address the challenges. The purpose of the consultation document is to seek input from interested parties on issues for consideration in the development of the National Space Strategy for Enterprise.

Stakeholders can access the consultation document at 'Consultation Paper for the National Space Strategy for Enterprise, 2019 – 2025' and are requested to submit their response, using the consultation response form, by 27th August 2018 to 


The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call (01) 631 2200 at, or email

Note to Editor

The European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organisation, comprised of 22 Member States. ESA works to coordinate the financial and intellectual resources of its Member States in order to undertake programmes and activities beyond the capabilities of any single European country. ESA’s mission is to shape the development of Europe’s Space capability and ensure that investment in Space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Investment into ESA works on the basis or geographical return. Essentially, the amount Ireland invests in ESA Irish companies will receive back in contracts. Ireland joined ESA in 1975.

For more information on the ESA, visit:

The Copernicus Programme

The Copernicus Programme is the European Union’s earth observation programme, coordinated by the European Commission. The development of the observation infrastructure is performed under the aegis of the European Space Agency for the Space component and of the European Environment Agency and the Member States for the in-situ component. Copernicus has been specifically designed to meet user requirements. Through satellite and in situ observations, the services deliver near-real-time data on a global level which can also be used for local and regional needs, to help better understand the planet and sustainably manage the environment. Ireland recently signed an agreement with ESA, providing access to near-real time earth observation data.

For more information on Copernicus, visit:

The Galileo Programme

The Galileo Programme is also coordinated and managed by the European Commission. It is the European Union’s Global Satellite Navigation System. Galileo provides accurate positioning and timing information. It is a programme under civilian control and its data can be used for a broad range of applications. Currently, data is derived from a constellation of 18 satellites.

For more information on Galileo, visit:

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the European Union’s Framework for Research and Innovation, offering nearly €80 billion in funding between 2014 and 2020. H2020 acts as the financial instrument to implement the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative. By implementing the Innovation Union, H2020 aims to secure Europe’s global competitiveness by fostering more breakthroughs and discoveries, in addition to achieving excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. Within H2020 there is a dedicated space programme as part of the Industrial Leadership pillar.

For more information on Horizon 2020, visit: