THE European Space Agency’s (ESA) next generation of launchers is being made possible with help from an Ennis company. Microsemi has just signed a lucrative multi-million euro contract with the ESA in a move that will lead to job creation for the county capital.
Company president, Paul Pickle, travelled from California to Clare this week, where he pledged to continue to invest in the Ennis company.
Microsemi has been awarded a €3.2 million contract under the ESA General Support Technical Program (GSTP) to develop a cost-effective integrated motor drive solution for thrust vector control (TVC) in aerospace applications.
As part of this expanded development activity in space technology, Microsemi is also collaborating with the Sociétés Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (SABCA), a major European aerospace company. The aim will be to commercialise the product portfolio resulting from the three-year development programme, targeting end-use applications in the VEGA-E space launcher, with the first flight projected in 2024.
Shane O’Donnell, senior manager in systems design and aerospace at Microsemi Aerospace Centre of Excellence, confirmed the plan will result in more jobs at the Gort Road-based company, which currently employs 270 people.
“We plan on growing our employee count significantly over the next number of years. Within the next couple of months, we hope to increase our team from 11 to 17. Very shortly afterwards we hope to build on that t
o 25 and in the short to medium future, we hope to increase that to 45 and onwards and upwards from there.”
Mr Pickle outlined this new development is the culmination of six years of work “and this is just the beginning”. He commended the partnership between the Government, different agencies and the corporate sector.
He continued, “We are doing something that is truly special. We pride ourselves on solving the problems that truly matter.”
He praised Ireland’s talent in the research and development sector, stating “you guys have amazing talent coming out of universities and it’s nice to put that younger talent to work and work on something that is truly important, that is going to matter years and years from now”.
By Jessica Quinn