Geoscience is a highly technical sector,incorporating a number of science, technology,engineering and mathematics (STEM)
disciplines. The Geoscience sector is important to Ireland, valued at having an overall economic impact of over €3 billion and employing 24,700 in 2016 in a recent independent study.
Geoscience Ireland is a cluster comprising over 30 Irish companies. It was created in 2012 as a response to the economic downturn where Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), part of Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Enterprise Ireland, along with five reference companies in the geoscience
sector, agreed to target commercial projects in overseas markets in a collaborative manner, with the aim to protect and create jobs in the face of economic uncertainty. Since the inception of Geoscience Ireland, its member companies have created over 750 net new jobs in the sector, employing over 3,300 people (of which over 1,900 were created by small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs)) and generating over €800 million in turnover.
The Team Ireland approach to targeting international opportunities and developing linkages to overseas networks is critical to Geoscience Ireland in accessing and sustaining itself in international markets such as sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North America, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the UK.
Maintaining close collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is central to Geoscience Ireland achieving its goals.
Enterprise Ireland’s commercial experience and network of overseas office provides critical insights and leverages networks in such a way that Geoscience Ireland member companies can gain market knowledge quickly and efficiently. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s embassy and consular network provide support in terms of facilitating receptions and networking events as well as visa and related advice. In addition to business development and support, Geoscience Ireland maintains strong linkages to research and training. This includes involvement with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry-backed Irish Centre
for Research in Applied Geoscience (iCRAG), and working with GSI, IT Carlow and SOLAS to develop a new Geo Driller Apprenticeship Course.