A Small Satellite Programme for Ireland

 A key part of the ISIG strategy is the development of a small satellite programme. This is as a result of the successful growth in industrial and scientific capability for space achieved in other countries that have undertaken such a programme.

In order to determine if this is a goal that is shared by the wider space community in Ireland, a call was issued in early 2016 for opinions and ideas to:

  • Determine Irish space community interest in a small satellite programme
  • Use the ideas to lobby relevant stakeholders as appropriate
  • Inform the direction of the programme should it be approved

Together we hoped to make a compelling argument at national level for such a programme if it is the desire of a significant portion of the Irish space community.

Update: September 21st 2016:

Thank you all for your ideas submitted in response to this Call for Ideas for a satellite program for Ireland earlier this year.

These ideas have been submitted to Enterprise Ireland and discussed at a meeting. EI were impressed with the range of ideas and the potential for some of the concepts.

Regarding the funding of a program, the EI position is that it would be open to part-funding technology development ideas on a case-by-case basis with the usual return criteria applied, subject to commercial exploitation assessment and subject to ESA funding being available.

Funding for a whole satellite project cannot be considered for support through ESA programmes according to EI, and would likely require separate national funding and significant matching funding from private sources.

Currently, there are no private entities willing to invest in a satellite program in Ireland. It is possible that a satellite program could come from other institutions in due course.

Thank you for your support and participation in this process. We have a suite of good ideas ready to go if and when the situation changes.

ISIG will continue to lobby for such a program at government level and keep you informed of any developments.