22 June 2011

Minister for Research & Innovation Mr. Sean Sherlock T.D. today

[Thursday] announced that SensL has signed a three-year, multi-project contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) that will generate over €1m in the initial program phases. The Minister made the announcement during a visit to SensL’s Cork headquarters.

Established in Cork in 2004, SensL develops highly innovative and advanced silicon photomultipliers (SPM). Silicon photomultipliers detect very low levels of light and are used in many applications including medical imaging, biophotonics, hazard and threat detection, and LIDAR, replacing vacuum tube photomultipliers with a low cost, high performance, reliable silicon sensor.

The ESA contract will involve the deployment of SensL’s silicon photomultipliers in a number of applications. SPM sensors will be deployed in range-finding LIDAR cameras that will determine the location of suitable terrain for lunar landings. Looking at light levels down to the photon level, SensL’s SPMs will provide a visual map of the area that the rover will land and operate in. In another ESA application, SensL technology will be used in gamma-ray spectroscopy for element and isotope analysis.

Congratulating SensL, Minister Sherlock said: “SensL is one of the growing number of Irish companies performing in the premier league in terms of global space technology and has confirmed its position as a supplier of highly innovative, cost effective solutions in the cutting-edge space technology market sector. In this, SensL is benefiting from Ireland’s membership in the European Space Agency in the context of a national space strategy to support Irish technology companies. SensL is a prime example of a company that is deploying space related technology in fields such as medical imaging .

“This year Ireland will contribute over €14 million to the ESA. Since 2000 Ireland’s ESA membership has contributed to the development of a highly knowledge-intensive industry sector with over 70 Irish technology companies having secured ESA contracts. ESA participation has a demonstrated direct effect on the participating companies’ ability to generate commercial export sales in the supply of products in the commercial space and non-space market. Over 70 Irish companies and research groups have secured an estimated €70m in ESA development contracts over the past ten years and this number is expected to grow significantly in the next three years’, the Minister concluded.

Bryan Campbell, CEO of SensL said: “We are very pleased to be working withESA, providing our most advanced detectors to the lunar exploration program. This relationship with ESA leverages the same earthbound applications of silicon photomultipliers that are driving our commercial success. Whether the application is lunar landing or brain imaging, SensL creates products that make critical light measurements. Our success in winning the ESA program is a great example of SensL’s unique opportunities for dramatic growth in the coming years.”

Enterprise Ireland supports Irish companies’ participation in the European Space programme. Enterprise Ireland’s role is to assist Irish companies to successfully bid for ESA contracts and help them exploit their technologies in the commercial space market.
In line with this strategy SensL is also using the technology in the commercial medical imaging market in areas such as diagnostic full body scanning, blood and fluid analysis, radiation detection and to generate X-ray-type images in a wide range of baggage and cargo screening systems. Over 1000 commercial customers have utilised SensL products which has resulted in an annual doubling of revenue during the last three years.

About SensL
SensL is the worlds leading supplier of silicon photomultipliers (SPM). These are sensors which are used to detect and measure light. SPM’s are utilised in numerous applications including hazard and threat detection, medical imaging, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), biophotonics, process inspection, and academic research. SensL’s products replace legacy vacuum tube photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) with a solid state alternative which is lower cost, more reliable, and provides dramatically improved system integration benefits. Visit www.sensl.com for more information.

About Enterprise Ireland and the European Space Agency
The ESA is the intergovernmental organisation that promotes co-operation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems.

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish body responsible for co-ordinating Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA). Its role is to assist Irish companies to successfully bid for ESA contracts. Enterprise Ireland provides a source of expertise for Irish companies in developing and executing space strategies.

The level of spin off export sales (including direct ESA contracts) from Irish investment in ESA is estimated at €35m in 2010 and projected to grow substantially as the number of Irish companies securing ESA contract continues to expand, and as existing Irish ESA contractors progress from intensive R&D phase to commercial exploitation phase).

For further information, please contact:

Wade Appelman, SensL Technologies, Tel: +1 617-314-7957, Email: wade@sensl.com.

Ciara O’Mahony, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland, Tel: +353 1 7272284.

Roisin McCann, Press Officer, Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Tel + 353 16312222.


Press Office
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Ph: 631 2200 Fax: 6312828