Answered on July 9, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will outline Ireland's financial contribution to the European Space Agency each year since 2002 inclusive.
Deputy Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of Irish companies or persons who have won contracts awarded by the European Space Agency each year since 2002 inclusive.
Deputy Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the proportion of Enterprise Ireland's annual budget, in percentage and actual terms, which is devoted to space-related enterprise supports and activities.
Reply from Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Sean Sherlock: (I propose to answer PQs, 262, 263 and 264 together.) The table attached at Appendix 1 sets out Ireland’s contribution to the European Space Agency (ESA) each year from 2002 to 2012 together with the number of contracts awarded by ESA to Irish companies and other entities. The number of contracts is based on data provided by ESA.
Ireland’s investment in ESA is channelled directly through my Department’s Vote and, as such, Enterprise Ireland has no specific funding ring-fenced for space related enterprise supports and activities. However, all Enterprise Ireland R&D support programmes are available to space companies and 3 rd level institutions where any such applications meet the relevant programme criteria. Enterprise Ireland has 2.5 staff members devoted to space related enterprise supports and activities such as helping companies to secure international funding from Framework Programme 7 and European Space Agency contracts.
Dáil Éireann allocates a certain amount of time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during which Deputies may ask questions of Members of the Government relating to Public Affairs connected with their Departments, or on matters of administration for whch they are officially responsible. The Taoiseach answers questions on his own Department on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.