European Southern Observatory industry day in Dublin

1 April 2015

IOP Ireland supported a recent event organized by the Astronomical Science Group of Ireland at Trinity College Dublin to highlight the business and industry opportunities should Ireland join the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

European Southern Observatory industry day in Dublin

ESO is widely acknowledged as being the world-leading facility for observational astronomy and the astrophysics community in Ireland is united in calling for Irish membership of ESO, believing that this action would strongly support the Irish government’s commitment to its STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) agenda.

The timing of the event was opportune with the Irish government currently carrying out a review of possible Irish membership of a number of intergovernmental research organizations, including ESO.

Representatives of ESO procurement and administrative position spoke at the event and additionally there were talks by Finnish and UK representatives on the impact of ESO on their respective countries.

ESO has just commenced construction of the billion-euro European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This major construction project is expected to take ten years to complete, and important opportunities for Irish industry could be available in:

  • Civil engineering
  • Steel structure fabrication and assembly
  • Precision actuation, metrology and control
  • Optics, opto-mechanics and detector systems
  • Cryogenics, vacuum systems and coating systems

It was noted that ESO’s ongoing technology programme will partner with industry to develop a variety of novel technologies including: Precision actuation & control, Advanced light sources, Real time computing. In addition there will be a requirement for new instrumentation suites that will be developed by international consortia, and these will be multi-100 MEuro opportunities for industry.

The event was attended by representatives from a range of businesses including IT, space technology, radio communication many of whom have worked with the European Space Agency and who outlined areas of expertise which could be of benefit to the programmes at ESO.

Full details of the presentations are available at:

Further details of the case for Irish membership of ESO, prepared by IOP Ireland are available at: