Minister Rabbitte congratulates TechWorks Marine on ESA Renewable Energy Contract

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, congratulated Irish SME, TechWorks Marine, this afternoon (Thursday 7th 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”.