Minister Rabbitte congratulates TechWorks Marine on €670,000 ESA Renewable Energy Contract

7th March 2013

Enterprise Ireland Supports Irish SME to Secure ESA Contract

Irish SME TechWorks Marine Secure €670,000 ESA Contract, pictured L-R: Dr Barry Fennell, Enterprise Ireland, Minister Pat Rabbitte, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Charlotte O’Kelly, TechWorks Marine and Dr Gordon Campbell, ESA.
Irish SME TechWorks Marine Secure €670,000 ESA Contract, pictured L-R: Dr Barry Fennell, Enterprise Ireland, Minister Pat Rabbitte, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Charlotte O’Kelly, TechWorks Marine and Dr Gordon Campbell, ESA.

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, congratulated Irish SME, TechWorks Marine, this afternoon (Thursday 7 March 2013) in Dun Laoghaire on securing a European Space Agency funded contract to the value of €670,000. The project, which was secured with the help of Enterprise Ireland, the co-ordinating body for ESA in Ireland, aims to expand the uptake of Earth Observation data products in the Renewable Energy Sector. This is the second significant European Space Agency project that has been awarded to TechWorks Marine in the last 6 months.

Earth Observation is the use of Images (both optical and also radar based) of the earth and sea surface taken by satellites orbiting the earth in space.  In this case, TechWorks Marine and its partners will be looking at expanding the use of such information in the renewables sector globally.

In the case of TechWorks Marine, the focus is on the Wave and Tidal Energy sector where the company is already commercially active in a number of geographic markets.  This project will enable the company to recruit a number of highly skilled staff, and expand its product and service offering to a wider range of users at a global scale.

Pat Rabbitte, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources expressed his delight at the announcement and commented that: “TechWorks Marine are representative of the many Irish enterprises in what is a competitive and growing industry; one which will guarantee high-quality jobs for Irish people and move our economy forward.

“The project we are launching today is a direct result not only of the excellent human-capital that our economy possesses, but also a reflection of Ireland’s strong partnership with European industry, and in particular the European Space Agency. With government support, and the continuing initiative of the private sector, renewable energy technologies promise to be a market leader in this country’s return to growth”.

Charlotte O’Kelly, Managing Director of TechWorks Marine commented on the award of the project stating: “We have been working in the field of operational oceanography for the last decade.  Over the last 4 years we have developed closer links with ESA which have resulted in this contract.  Our specific expertise in this renewable sector has been key to being awarded the contract and we plan to use the services developed as part of this funding to expand our current sales opportunities and generate new jobs for staff here in Dublin”.

Dr Barry Fennell of Enterprise Ireland and National Delegate to ESA’s Earth Observation Programme Board said: “Ireland’s unique geographical location make it a much sought after partner within renewable energies particularly in the wind and wave sectors.  Many more business opportunities for Irish Industry will become available over the coming years through increased availability and access to data collected in-situ and from satellites orbiting the earth.

“Ireland’s ongoing participation the ESA Earth observation programme will secure the position of our SME’s, Academic and Public Sector institutes at the heart of the latest technological developments in the rapidly emerging area of downstream service development”.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Charlotte O’Kelly

+ 353 1 2365990

Charlotte@techworks.ie;

Ciara Clogher

Communications, Research & Innovation
Enterprise Ireland

+353 (1) 7272725

+353 86 0759268

Ciara Clogher

Enda Gallagher

Press Office
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

+353 1 6782441

Press.office@dcenr.gov.ie  

EDITORS NOTES

TechWorks Marine Ltd.
TechWorks Marine was formed in 2002 by Charlotte O’Kelly and Philip Trickett and has been expanding ever since, providing essential services to a broad range of clients within the marine. Since 2008, TechWorks Marine has been working with the European Space Agency developing value added Earth Observation products for a range of clients, using live in-situ data for validation notably in the area of Jellyfish and Storm Surge forecasting and the monitoring of coastal outlets.

Satellites can provide very detailed information on surface winds and surface currents as well a very detailed wave information products.  Such SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) products have a high resolution and more importantly can be used in cloud cover area.  It is anticipated that such data products can help device developers, utilities and state agencies be more cost effective at mapping their natural resource by using EO data with insitu observations, and for ongoing operations once devices are deployed in the natural environment to harness his energy potential.  The project has just started and will be on-going for the next 20 months. 

The Wave and Tidal sector is being developed by TechWorks Marine, with the North East Atlantic as the initial region of interest for service development with a view to future global outreach.  TechWorks Marine has been providing resources assessment services to this sector for the last number of years and has a good understanding of this emerging sector and its challenges in terms of information data products.  TechWorks Marine has already been working with OpenHydro and SEAI on this project and plans to further expand the user base in the months ahead.

Ireland’s Membership of the European Space Agency
Ireland has been a long-standing participant in European space programmes, particularly through membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), and this has provided an effective means for Irish companies, many of them SME’s, to develop new opportunities both in space-related areas and other markets.

Ireland became a member of the European Space Agency in 1975. The purpose of Ireland’s membership of ESA is to participate in European space programmes with a focus on facilitating innovative Irish companies to develop leading edge space technologies and to commercially exploit their ESA participation in global space and non-space markets, leading to increased export sales and employment.

Irish industrial and research participation in ESA covers a range of sectors and technology areas including; software, precision mechanical engineering, telecommunications, electronics, optoelectronics and advanced materials and extending to end user equipment, services and applications. Enterprise Ireland (EI) provides support to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) in relation to Ireland’s membership, including handling Irish company and researcher engagement with ESA.