European Space Research Organisation to get a new entrant
Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 11th October, 2017
Ireland will join the ESO in 2018
Ireland’s inclusion will come after an increased capital budget allocation
Budget will be allocated for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation
DUBLIN, Ireland - In 2018, Ireland is set to join the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
Ireland’s inclusion will reportedly come after an increased capital budget allocation for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
According to experts, membership in the European Southern Observatory will boost skills in data analytics and software.
ESO, which is a 16-nation intergovernmental research organisation for ground-based astronomy with headquarters in Munich.
It was created in 1962 and provides astronomers with state-of-the-art research facilities and access to the southern sky.
According to Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan has said that the benefits of membership will be significant including “the creation of advanced enterprise skills in areas such as data analytics, software and photonics.”
ESO membership will also allow Irish companies to compete on contracts to develop innovative products and services.
He said that it will also enhance research opportunities for third-level institutions.
Dr Sheila Gilheant, policy adviser for the Institute of Physics in Ireland said that the announcement has come after a long campaign from the astrophysics community in Ireland.
She added, “Ireland’s membership of ESO will allow physicists here to work with other cutting-edge scientists worldwide to understand our universe, and bring the fruit of that research back to Ireland to support education and develop our business capacity in many high-tech fields.”
Dr Gilheany added that astrophysics is a key driver of science interest and innovation.
He said, “To support this, Irish scientists and engineers need access to the best research facilities, and this access brings with it the benefits of spin-off technology, contracts and jobs.”
As part of the membership, the department will receive 15 million euros to “drive access to new product opportunities from European Space Agency contracts and to help secure research and development funding from the EU programme Horizon 2020.”
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