Cork Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology have come together to form the Society, Economy and Environment (SEE) Space network.

The new partnership plans to build links to international space organisations such as the European Space Agency.

The SEE Space Network is a landmark pool of decades of talent, knowledge and expertise and the new team said is ideally positioned to take advantage of the educational, economic and societal benefits of the global space industry which is projected to be worth €2 trillion by 2030.

The new research team will be headed up by Dr Niall Smith in Cork and Dr Mark White in Waterford.

CIT President, Dr Barry O'Connor, said they will use space to solve problems that are relevant to the region and the country, building the Irish Space Coast and attracting inward investment from national and international sources.

"On our journey, we will engage with leaders in their respective domains and help them to see space as an opportunity to grow their businesses.

"We will work with communities to see how best to use space to solve their issues, to increase their sustainability and improve their competitiveness. We will work to inspire the next generations of scientists and engineers," he said.

Speaking about the initiative, WIT President, Professor Willie Donnelly, highlighted the potential impact that this collaboration will have regional economic development.  

"Bringing together two of Ireland's top performing research institutions to conduct multidisciplinary research and innovation in space will create exciting new funding opportunities.

"This in turn will provide exciting research and employment opportunities for our students," he said.

Over the course of the initial three-year agreement, the SEE Space Network will focus on education and research in Quantum Communications and Cybersecurity, Earth Observation and Space 4.0 in general, with Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEOs) a particular area of interest.