Irish firm to lead ESA research project
A Dublin-based firm has won a contract to lead a research project with the European Space Agency (ESA) on monitoring coastal outlets.
TechWorks Marine, which is based in Dun Laoghaire, specialises in the development of real-time marine data platforms that can be used to manage and monitor the oceans.
The ESA project will look at the coastal effect of waste water treatment plants in Ireland, particularly in Donegal Bay. It is the first time that such a project has been led by an Irish firm, and has already led to the recruitment of specialised staff for TechWorks. There are plans to further grow the team in the future.
As part of the project, TechWorks Marine will develop satellite earth observation products for use by those developing and operating waste water treatment plant and desalination plants. The products are designed to help ensure that environmental impacts are kept at a minimum.
Managing director Charlotte O’Kelly said that although the coastal zone was difficult to monitor from space, improvements in sensor technology meant products specifically aimed at areas of coastal activity could be developed.
“These products can be used to analyse the effect of waste water treatment plant outfalls in the coastal environment, or ensure that water close to the intakes of desalination plants does not have harmful algal blooms which could be a health hazard to humans,” she said.
TechWorks Marine has been working on this relationship with the ESA with the help of Enterprise Ireland, which manages Ireland’s membership and assists Irish entities in bidding for contracts.
More than 80 Irish companies have secured ESA contracts since 2002, worth in excess of €80 million.
Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock said TechWorls Marine was a “highly innovative company”.
“This is a significant win for TechWorks Marine and clearly indicates that Irish SME’s have the capability and expertise to lead projects in this highly competitive sector,” he said.