These contracts will create 3 new graduate engineering positions at ÉireComposites and support 7 more engineering and technician positions. The company already employs 55 people at its facility in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, Republic of Ireland.

ÉireComposites Teoranta specialises in the design and processing of lightweight composite materials that can be applied in a range of applications including aircraft, wind turbines, automotive and spacecraft. The European Space Agency (ESA) contracts will enable the company to develop these materials that can withstand the extreme environment of space flight, at the same time reducing the spacecraft weight and the launch costs.

“Winning ESA contracts is an important factor in developing our company's technical capabilities and will position the company to grow in both the space and aerospace market," says ÉireComposites Joint Managing Director, Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh. "With the support of Enterprise Ireland and Údarás Na Gaeltachta, we are looking forward to developing EireComposites into one of Europe’s leading firms in the commercial space and aerospace markets.”

Space programmes

ÉireComposites has made investments over the past 7 years in facilities, staff, quality systems and accreditations, and has invested in significant research and development programmes (Irish Government R&D Fund, EU Framework 6 and 7 European Space Agency, InterTrade Ireland INNOVA).

The company is involved in European Space Agency development programmes such as GSTP (General Science and Technology Programme) and FLPP (Future Launchers Preparatory Programme). ÉireComposites’ technology in design and processing of advanced thermoplastic composites is being developed for weight and cost reduction for future space structures such as launchers and satellites.

The composites sector has been identified as strategic for Ireland by the establishment of a Competence Centre in Composite Materials (iCOMP – Irish Centre for Composite Materials Research) at the University of Limerick, jointly funded by Enterprise Ireland, IDA and industry.