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Research & Innovation

Radisens wins second €1M contract with European Space Agency
providing clinical benefits on the ISS and other human spaceflight missions

Radisens Diagnostics has won a second €1m contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop an innovative blood testing device for use by astronauts on board the International Space Station and on various human spaceflight missions. This builds upon their initial partnership announced back in November 2011.

The European Space Agency has contracted Radisens to extend the blood testing menu on their point-of-care device which is currently in development at their facility at the Rubicon Centre, Cork. This forerunner device could be used on board the International Space Station and on various human spaceflight missions where it is essential to get high-performance, laboratory grade results for myriad health conditions, without fear of biological contamination.

Radisens is one of a growing number of Irish companies which are looking to ESA to support their product and market development strategies. The partnership with ESA is proving to be highly beneficial to Irish companies in supporting technology development, product reliability and performance and in providing a globally recognised reference customer.

Radisens® Diagnostics, a venture-backed diagnostics company which is breaking new ground in the decentralization of routine blood testing from central reference laboratories into physician offices, outpatient clinics, hospital bedsides and other point-of-care settings. With a finger-prick of blood, this multi-mode diagnostic device will return laboratory-grade results within minutes during a patient’s physician visit.

The European Space Agency (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. Ireland's membership of ESA permits Irish companies and research teams to bid for ESA contract development work in a range of space programmes.

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish body responsible for co-ordinating Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of 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, Irish industrial participation is primarily in the engineering, aerospace, software, electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications sectors.

The level of spin off export sales (including direct ESA contracts) from Irish investment in ESA is estimated at €50m in 2013 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.

Image: Radisens blood-testing device is trialled by astronauts on board the International Space Station (image courtesy of ESA)

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