Plan to create 1,000 space sector jobs boosted by Cork event

Over 300 space experts set to attend event that will provide €2m boost to local economy

Minister for  Innovation John  Halligan said that he was very proud to welcome the International Space University to Cork. File photograph: Tim Pyle/NASA Amaes via JPL-Caltech via The New York Times

Minister for Innovation John Halligan said that he was very proud to welcome the International Space University to Cork. File photograph: Tim Pyle/NASA Amaes via JPL-Caltech via The New York Times

 

The Government’s plan to create 1,000 jobs in the space sector has received a boost by the decision of the International Space University (ISU) to hold its space studies programme in Cork, according to Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan.

Mr Halligan said that he was “very excited and very proud” to welcome the ISU to Cork where, over the next nine weeks, some 320 international space experts from 26 different countries will examine all aspects of space including engineering and science and their applications in outer space.

He paid tribute to the organisers of ISU’s 30th Space Studies Programme for bringing the event to Cork, saying it offers a unique chance for Irish businesses to explore the enormous opportunities available in the space sector and expand the number of jobs from 40 to 1,000 by 2020.

“The presence of renowned ambassadors for space at this event clearly demonstrates the growing importance of space globally, in our everyday lives and to the rapidly expanding range of space technology companies in Cork and in Ireland, ” he said.

Mr Halligan confirmed that a White Paper during the event, entitled A Roadmap for Building a Strong Space Industry, will be presented to Irish Government representatives at the space studies programme closing ceremony on 25th August next.

Policy initiatives

“This legacy document will inform a National Space Strategy and act as a guide for how that might be translated into policy initiatives and direction for how to grow our space industry,” said Mr Halligan at the official opening of the event at Cork City Hall.

And he paid particular tribute to Cork Institute of Technology and its partners for securing the ISU event for Ireland and he expressed the hope it would be “the most memorable and productive national and international event in the 30-year history of the ISU Space Studies Programme”.

Meanwhile, Evelyn O Sullivan from Cork Convention Bureau confirmed the event will be worth €2 million to the Cork economy and she paid tribute to CIT astrophysicist, Dr Niall Smith and senior research administrator Elizabeth Carroll-Twomey for their work in securing the event for Cork.

She pointed out that business tourism is Ireland’s most lucrative and highest-yielding tourism sector and the bureau manages a very successful conference ambassador programme aimed at assisting those who are in a position to influence the choice of destination for such events.

“In excess of 75 per cent of all business events that come to Ireland come here with the help of an ambassador. Dr Smith and Ms Carroll-Twomey are two fine examples of Cork ambassadors and the ISU SSP17 event they have secured for Cork is worth almost €2 million to the local economy,” she said.