Luna is first Irish company to receive funding from new EU initiative

13 Apr 2022

Luna CEO and co-founder Andrew Fleury. Image: Luna

Luna was selected as a key enabling technology for sustainable mobility and will receive €50,000 and support services to scale its tech.

Micromobility-focused AI company Luna Systems is one of 20 start-ups to receive funding from a new EU initiative to help the delivery of the European Green Deal.

The New European Bauhaus initiative from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) aims to translate the European Green Deal into tangible actions, through a combination of several EU financing methods such as Horizon Europe and the European Regional Development Fund.

Dublin-based Luna is the first Irish company to receive funding from this initiative. It was selected by EIT under the Urban Mobility programme as a key enabling technology for sustainable mobility.

It will receive a grant of €50,000 along with support services to scale its technology.

The start-up, which has been backed by former Irish rugby player Brian O’Driscoll among others, develops AI tech for the growing e-scooter market. It uses precise positioning and computer vision to let operators know where e-scooters are and how they are being parked and ridden.

For example, Luna technology can understand if an e-scooter is in a heavily pedestrianised area and react accordingly based on set parameters.

“We are delighted to have been selected and keen to start working with the EIT Urban Mobility team to further develop and deploy our technology,” Luna CEO Andrew Fleury said.

“The grant will enable us to partner with cities across Europe to overcome barriers to micromobility and enhance the EU’s sustainable transport agenda, by demonstrating how computer vision and AI can solve issues around sidewalk riding and bad parking, which are currently holding the industry back.”

Luna’s technology is already being tested by some of the world’s leading e-scooter operators. It partnered with Zipp Mobility last year to roll out a fleet of ‘smart scooters’ and Swedish e-scooter operator Voi also conducted a large-scale computer vision trial in Northampton using Luna technology.

The company was involved in Ireland’s first major e-scooter trial at Dublin City University (DCU), in a collaboration with Tier, Science Foundation Ireland’s Insight research centre for data analytics and SmartDCU.

While many micromobility start-ups are looking launch services in Ireland, a new policy plan published last week indicates that e-scooter operators will have to wait until 2023 to get the green light.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic