Tánaiste leads 23 Irish companies on Enterprise Ireland Trade Visit to France

20th October 2016


l-r: Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, An Tánaiste France Fitzgerald T.D., John O’Donoghue, CEO Enbio, Michael Fiat, Executive VP of Operations, Thales Alenia Space and Geraldine Byrne Nason, Irish Ambassador to France.

Irish company ENBIO announce details of €360k contract with one of Europe’s largest players in space industry

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald T.D concluded a two-day Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Cannes and the Cote d’Azur Region of France today (20th October 2016).

23 Irish companies travelled to France on the Enterprise Ireland trade visit to build business relationships with their current and prospective counterparts in four key sectors in the region; animation, HR technology, construction services and space and aerospace technology. 

Speaking about the importance of the visit the Tánaiste said;“This Enterprise Ireland trade visit has raised Ireland’s profile, positioned our companies as strategic partners across multiple sectors and demonstrated how Enterprise Ireland can act as a conduit to those world class goods and services. Ireland is very much open for business and this trade visit has highlight what the 23 participating Irish companies have to offer to industry in the Cote d’Azur region of France”.

During her visit to Thales Alenia Space, one of the main European actors in advanced satellite communication systems on Thursday 20th October 2016, details of a €360k contract awarded to Irish company ENBIO were announced.

Congratulating the company the Tánaiste said “I am delighted to see ENBIO, an Irish SME delivering technical products at the highest level in the European space industry. Ireland’s membership of the European Space Agency through Enterprise Ireland enables Irish companies to win business with large European players in the space market, supporting high-quality jobs and raising our international profile as a source of innovative and flexible SME business partners”.

ENBIO, in partnership with Thales Alenia Space through the NEOSAT programme are now planning to use their SolarWhite coating to keep the next generation of telecommunications satellites cool as they operate under the harsh radiation environment of full sunlight.

John O’Donoghue, EnBio’s founder and CEO said; “This work could not have taken place without the Irish government’s continued support of European Space Agency programmes. These programmes, such as ARTES, allowed ENBIO to create and maintain highly-qualified jobs in Ireland to work on these advanced coating technologies. ENBIO welcome’s the Tánaiste’s visit to Thales Alenia to witness the R&D work we are undertaking as continued government support for ESA programmes is critical to companies like ENBIO maintaining highly qualified jobs in Ireland”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland who is accompanying the Tánaiste on the trade visit said; “Post-Brexit France is Europe’s 2nd largest economy and is a critically important market to our clients. France has always been an important market for exporters particularly in sectors such as aerospace, engineering, MedTech and agriculture offers great potential for sustained export growth.  Enterprise Ireland is on hand to support and drive this growth with a team of experienced, dedicated and connected executives”.

The Tánaiste’s itinerary included visiting the 17 Irish companies exhibiting at MIPCOM, the world’s largest entertainment content market in Cannes where she witnessed the signing of a co-production agreement between Galway company Telegael and Audiovisual and La Mar Media from Colombia and Discreet Art from India. The agreement will see Telegal produce a series of 52x11 minute animated programmes called Ana Pirata - Ana the Pirate in Spanish, Irish, Hindi and English.

She also travelled to Sophia Antipolis Technology Park – the Silicon Valley of Europe - to address the Enterprise Ireland Talent Management and Technology Forum.



France - Market Opportunity

Population of 64m and 6th largest economy in the world.

2nd largest pharmaceutical market in Western Europe.

2nd largest market for Medical Technologies in Europe.

2nd largest European market for grocery retail (€221.1bn) and 7th worldwide

2nd largest Construction market in the Euro zone (€ 197bn)

Industrial subcontracting market is worth approximately € 75bn and is the second largest in Europe.

In 2016, the French aerospace & defence sector is forecast to have a value of $46bn, an increase of 6.6% since 2011.

Significant investments in industry with €5bn investment in food manufacturing p.a. and €4bn in transport equipment manufacturing p.a.



For more information contact 

Conor O’Donovan

Head of Communications 

Conor O'Donovan

+3531 7272912

Grace Labanyi

Enterprise Ireland 

Grace Labanyi

+353 1 7272820