15 Aug 2022

Major boost for Limerick and Clare as Future Mobility Campus Ireland officially opens in Shannon

Hi-Tech Future Mobility Campus officially opens in Shannon

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at the official opening of Future Mobility Campus Ireland  in Shannon

TÁNAISTE Leo Varadkar has officially opened Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) in Shannon -  Ireland’s first full-scale development centre and test-bed for mobility technologies.

The new state-of-the-art facility, which cost around €5.5m to develop, focuses on technology research and development spanning ground and air uses.

FMCI aims to stimulate international investment and job creation as well as consolidating Ireland’s reputation for leadership in connected, automated, electrified and shared mobility solutions.

Projects involving unmanned drones, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, Advanced Air Mobilit, autonomous driving, micro-mobility, smart cities, and V2X vehicle communication systems are accommodated.  

Congratulating involved in the opening of the new campus Mr Varadkar said: “We want Ireland to be at the cutting-edge of new technologies, and that means we must continually invest in research, testing new ideas, seeing what works and how it can be improved.  Future mobility is a particularly important and interesting area, given our need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, while at the same time making our cities more liveable.  This is a particular challenge given our population is rising."

Funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment through Enterprise Ireland, and financial contributions from the local authorities of Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council, the Western Development Commission and industry partners, the unique FMCI campus at Shannon has state-of-the-art facilities for aerospace and automotive research and development, including a recently opened Advanced Air Mobility Hub.

The facility supports a range of parties including large and small-scale enterprise, from individual researchers to multi-national corporations, start-ups and Government entities.

Partners consist of companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Shannon Group, Cisco, Valeo, Seagate, Red Hat, Taoglas, Mergon, Exida, Analog Devices, General Motors, Pipiper, Collins Aerospace and Avtrain.

“Our unique facility in Shannon is facilitating safe, cost-effective and sustainable transport of freight and people now and into the future.  What we and our clients do here contributes to socio-economic development and technological advancement that has extensive business, public service and societal applications," commented Russell Vickers, CEO of Future Mobility Campus Ireland.

In June, a European consortium coordinated by FMCI was approved and funded by the EU to develop a ‘Digital Sky Demonstrator’ for aerial Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems. 

The ground-breaking new research was a major vote of confidence in Ireland’s resourcing of advanced air mobility development, and in the industry operators and expertise present locally, Russell Vickers says.

The UTM research project will also support modernisation of air traffic management in Europe, building an end-to-end ecosystem that supports safe operation of unmanned flights, to help both conventional and unmanned aircraft safely integrate operations.

In keeping with the Shannon facility’s rapid development, FMCI has also been awarded a priming grant as part of the Regional Enterprise Innovation Scoping Scheme , to prepare for development of a large-scale Advanced Air Mobility hub, which will enable large scale eVTOL services.

Enterprise Ireland CEO, Leo Clancy, says there are significant growth opportunities for Irish companies in emerging technologies that efficiently move people and goods domestically and internationally.

“A key focus for Enterprise Ireland is accelerating the development of innovation capability in Irish enterprise and driving job creation in the regions.  This new state-of-the-art facility will provide a real boost to the Mid-West Region, delivering a key piece of infrastructure that will support Irish industry nationally in addressing the cutting-edge future mobility industry.

Acknowledging the tremendous achievement of establishing the FMCI state-of-the art mobility test-bed at Shannon, and welcoming the economic boost it represents for the region, CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine said: “I would like to congratulate Russell and his team on today’s launch.  This incubation space, where future mobility technologies are being developed, is providing great opportunities for innovation in our region and nationally."

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