Shannon-based R&D centre to drive mobility tech of the future

18 Jul 2022

Future Mobility Campus Ireland CEO Russell Vickers and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar driving a self-parking car. Image: FMCI

Future Mobility Campus Ireland is working with companies such as General Motors and Collins Aerospace on projects ranging from drones to autonomous driving.

Shannon is the base for a new campus focusing on the development of mobility technologies.

Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) celebrated its official opening last Friday (15 July). It will provide an R&D and testing site for mobility technologies spanning ground and air uses.

Projects at FMCI will cover areas such as uncrewed drones, electric vehicle take-off and landing, autonomous driving and advanced air mobility.

The site will support large and small-scale enterprises, as well as individual researchers and Government entities.

FMCI is partnering with major mobility and tech players including Jaguar Land Rover, Shannon Group, Cisco, Valeo, Seagate, Red Hat, Taoglas, Mergon, Exida, Analog Devices, General Motors, PiPiper, Collins Aerospace and Avtrain.

It is being funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment through Enterprise Ireland. It has also received funding from Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council, the Western Development Commission and industry partners.

Investment of approximately €5.5m has been made in the campus so far.

Last week, ahead of its official opening, FMCI was awarded a priming grant as part of the Regional Enterprise Innovation Scoping Scheme (REISS). The grant will help to develop an advanced air mobility hub, which will enable large scale electric vertical take-off and landing services.

In June, a European consortium coordinated by FMCI was approved and funded by the EU to develop tech for aerial uncrewed traffic management systems. That research project will also support the modernisation of air traffic management in Europe.

Russell Vickers, CEO of FMCI, said that the work done at the facility can contribute to business, public service and society as a whole. “Our unique facility in Shannon is facilitating safe, cost-effective and sustainable transport of freight and people now and into the future.”

CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine, added that FMCI would provide opportunities for innovation in the Shannon region, as well as nationally.

Attending the official opening of the FMCI, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD, said that future mobility is an “important and interesting area” given the world’s need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and make cities more liveable.

“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,” he concluded.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.