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European Space Agency (ESA)

Ireland and ESA


Ireland has been a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 1975. Since then, it has developed a thriving space industry and research community. 



Image: Artist's view of ESA Space Transportation Systems

Credit: ESA - D. Ducros

Artist's view of ESA Space Transportation Systems

Ireland's Space Industry Directory

Our ESA membership enables Irish companies and research institutes to bid on contracts and develop space industry technologies, services, and business applications. To learn more about Irish companies working in space technology developments, view our Space industry directory.

National Space Strategy for Enterprise 2019-2025

Ireland’s National Space Strategy for Enterprise outlines the Government’s vision to develop an Irish space industry that is internationally recognised and creates high-quality jobs for the future economy


Support the development of an agile and sustainable space-active industry through increased investment.

Strengths and Opportunities

Strengthen existing areas of activity where we perform well and identify and support the development of new opportunities.


Create an appropriate business environment for and raise awareness of space industry opportunities in Ireland.

Human Capital

Facilitate the development of skilled workers for Irish space-active enterprises.

International Engagement

Develop strong international connections between Irish companies and research throughout Europe and beyond.

European Space Agency Programmes

Enterprise Ireland coordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in European Space Agency programmes. 

We are primarily a knowledge resource to help Irish businesses create and carry out space initiatives. At the same time, Enterprise Ireland acts as a hub for the international space industry to find relevant sources of space-related expertise in Ireland. 

Irish businesses can develop and adapt technologies for the commercial space industry, transfer knowledge and technology from space to non-space uses and create innovative apps and services that leverage space systems. 

Irish industrial capabilities in space technology are highly diverse – including structures, materials, microelectronics, photonics, telecommunications, RF, and life sciences. A rising number of Irish companies also work in the "downstream" industry, making products for related ground segment systems as well as end-user equipment, services, and applications that utilise space-based systems.

As an ESA member

We also help Irish businesses and research teams submit bids for ESA contract development work in a variety of space programmes, including: 

  1. ESA mandatory programmes including the ESA General Budget and the Science Programme. 

  2. ESA optional programmes in which Ireland participates, including: 

  • Satellite Communications (ARTES) 

  • Space Transportation (Ariane 6, Vega C, FLPP) 

  • Earth Observation (EOEP, InCubed) 

  • General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) 

  • Satellite Navigation (NAVISP) 

  • Scientific Payloads and Experiments (PRODEX) 

  • European Exploration Envelope Programme (E3P) 


Image: Artist's view of SmalGEO satellite

Credit: ESA - P. Carril

Artist's view of SmalGEO satellite

How do I apply?

Potential ESA tenderers need to register on the ESA-STAR website – its registration and management facility for external users. 

Specific procurements/announcement of opportunities will be published on ESA's electronic tendering esa-star Publication module. 

Certain contracts require prior authorisation from the national ESA Delegation, which can be obtained by contacting Enterprise Ireland. 




Conor Sheehan

Padraig Doolan


Niall Bolger

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