Irish satellite firm has hope for Elon Musk’s SpaceX contract

Irish satellite firm has hope for Elon Musk’s SpaceX contract
Elon Musk: Irish company OCE Technology hopes to secure potential deals in the industry that includes Musk’s SpaceX.

By Eamon Quinn

Irish company OCE Technology, which helps debug complex software systems and supplies components used in satellites, has secured investment from a key Chinese supplier to help it launch in the US, where it hopes to secure potential deals in the multi-billion industry that includes Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

OCE, which is based at NovaUCD, was set up five years ago and has already secured contracts across the world, including across Europe, Korea, Japan, Singapore, as well as China, where it supplies parts to the Chinese space programme.

It said Chinese stockmarket-listed Zhuhai Orbita Aerospace Science and Technology will inject €200,000 in return for a small equity stake in OCE that will help propel the Irish company into US market.

Zhuhai Orbita is already a component manufacturer to OCE and the Government’s Enterprise Ireland will retain its long-standing 10% stake in OCE.

Tony Cahill, vice-president sales at OCE, said the investment will help spur its next stage of growth, by launching in the US. The firm is in “early stage” talks with SpaceX and other private companies in the US.

Chief executive Barry Kavanagh said the firm develops software and supplies “radiation-hardened chip-level components targeted primarily at the space and high-reliability sectors”.

Components on a satellite costing up to €100m must meet particularly high standards.

Focussed on private customers, OCE would not fall foul of the US administration’s trade spat with China, it said.

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