Ireland Signs Earth Observation Agreement With the European Space Agency
Enterprise Ireland has signed a Technical Collaborative Arrangement with the European Space Agency. This Arrangement will provide the State with unprecedented access to the Copernicus Programme’s near-real time earth observation information. The data will be stored locally for research, commercial development and policy informing purposes. Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in ESA programmes on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said: “This agreement will greatly support Ireland’s National strategy to maximise the value created from our investment in space related technologies. Furthermore, the agreement will act as an important resource as Ireland continues to develop world class skills in data analytics”.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, also welcomed the Arrangement, stating: “The signing of this agreement is a key contributor to maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness, which is vital post-Brexit. Access to this near-real time data will help to drive research, and support the development of commercial applications and internationally traded services, and additionally, inform national policy. Furthermore, the need for earth observation is becoming crucial and it is creating opportunities for Irish companies in the context of the need for public authorities to make more informed decisions in environment, security and climate change. The signing of this Technical Collaborative Arrangement with the ESA is welcomed by Enterprise Ireland.”
The Copernicus Earth Observation Programme provides services in six sectors, including marine monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, climate change monitoring, land monitoring, emergency management and security. Near-real time data accessed through the Technical Collaborative Arrangement will be applicable to urban planning, sustainable agriculture, bio-diversity, forest management, risk management, tourism, mitigation of the effects of climate change, security, coastal monitoring and infrastructure management. Aside from commercial and policy informing purposes, it is also envisioned that access to complex earth observation data will develop high performance computing, and information and communications technology, skill sets in Ireland.
The European Space Agency comprises 22 Member States. The 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. Its 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.