Shannon campus provides testing ground for transport technology

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in the driving seat at the opening of the Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) in Shannon with FMCI chief executive Russell Vickers. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

IRELAND’S first full-scale development centre for mobility technologies was officially opened by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in Shannon last Friday when he described the Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) as a test-bed for technology research into ground and air transportation.

Investment of around €5.5 million has been made in the commercial campus which is stimulating 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 (eVTOL), Advanced Air Mobility, autonomous driving, micro-mobility, smart cities, and V2X vehicle communication systems are accommodated.

The 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.

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

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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.

Stating that the government wanted Ireland to be at the cutting-edge of new technologies, Mr Varadkar said that meant a continuing investment 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 increasing  population,” he explained.

“I’m glad we’ve been able to provide over €5.5 million to the development of this campus, including €185,000 in additional funding, announced just yesterday, under the Regional Enterprise Innovation Scoping Scheme,” the Tánaiste added.

FMCI chief executive Russell Vickers said that the Shannon facility was 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,” he added..

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

“The Shannon campus 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”.

This was also the view of Shannon Group chief executive Mary Considine who said that the incubation space, where future mobility technologies are being developed, is providing great opportunities for innovation in our region and nationally.

“Establishing a world-class, large-scale research and innovation hub for AAM on the Shannon Group campus will help foster a cluster of new industries in the region and beyond. We look forward to continuing to work with FMCI and seeing the opportunities these cutting-edge technologies can bring,” she added.