I-Form's collaboration with eco-Mova awarded €648,000 in energy research funding

eco-Mova, based near Westport in Co Mayo, has been awarded €648,000 in Government funding to lead an environmentally-friendly Industrial Research project in Co Mayo. The Government of Ireland funding, awarded through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), is part of a wider €19.8 million funding programme supporting 49 new projects, enabling a wide range of energy research within Ireland. The projects bring together academic institutes, industry partners, and not-for-profits to tackle key areas in our national efforts to transition to a low carbon society. The funding will support eco-Mova’s development of environmentally friendly road trailers for electric cars and vans.

The project will see eco-Mova work with Professor Alojz Ivankovic, Dr. Neal Murphy and Dr. Malachy O’Rourke, from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University College Dublin (UCD), and the SFI-funded I-Form, the Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. The combined team will embrace eco-Mova’s existing research and extend it with world class science to exploit new structural composites and energy systems that will substantially lower carbon emissions from vehicles that tow trailers.

eco-Mova plans to start production of their initial products from 2023, and expand its portfolio during the following four years, which they plan can create up to 55 jobs in Co Mayo.

eco-Mova’s founder, Rory Staunton said: “We are delighted to lead a three-year Industrial research programmer with SEAI and I-Form. Commercial and recreational buyers of trailers need to lower emissions when they move large goods on the road. Most electric vehicles today have range limitations and cannot tow trailers. eco-Mova can fix that. We aim to speed up the practical adoption of electric vehicles for moving larger loads with zero emissions, without increasing costs.”

 Professor Alojz Ivankovic of I-Form added: ‘‘This award shows how innovation from the West of Ireland can be advanced with expertise from UCD and I-Form in composites, adhesives, numerical modelling and energy systems, to address Ireland’s challenge to reduce vehicle emissions. The collaboration with eco-Mova will include undergraduate, postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers based in both Dublin and Mayo

Mike Feeney, a business advisor based in Dublin, supporting eco-Mova, added: “This award will enable eco-Mova and leading academics to accelerate its Industrial research, to develop its range of environmentally friendly products quicker; attract further investment to expand the business internationally, and recruit high quality environmental engineering staff in Mayo.”

 Joe Casey, Chief Operations Officer at eco-Mova in Westport said: “Our priority is to create synergy by combining our market research, operational experience and precision engineering in Co Mayo with the extensive expertise at UCD. We plan to recruit the best people; expand our premises, turn prototypes into production, and establish local supply chains around Mayo and across Ireland, rather than importing materials and components.”

 The 2021 SEAI National Energy Research, Development & Demonstration (RDD) Call also involves co-funding partnerships with the Department of Transport and Geological Survey Ireland. There was a significant increase in national demand for energy research funding in 2021 with 56% more applications compared to the most recent call in 2019, proving it an extremely competitive Call.


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About eco-Mova:

eco-Mova is a new manufacturing company based near Westport in Mayo that specialises in integrating new energy-related technologies with operational experience to create environmentally friendly products in the automotive and related sectors. Its team of specialists combines expertise in precision engineering with energy management and control, based on structural engineering, advanced composites, and additive manufacturing.


About the RDD programme:

 The SEAI National Energy Research, Development & Demonstration (RDD) Programme spearheads support for research, innovation, and coordination of Irish energy research efforts.  

SEAI catalyses direct energy research action through the delivery of the annual RDD Programme and through capacity-building processes with citizens and communities as well as private and public sector organisations. The revitalised SEAI RDD Programme launched in 2018 and since then it has developed into a multi-annual call, involving companies, non-academic research institutions, universities, institutes of technology, public sector, and semi-state bodies.

Details of energy research projects can be viewed on the National Energy Research Database.  

 About SEAI:

SEAI is Ireland’s national energy authority investing in, and delivering, appropriate, effective, and sustainable solutions to help Ireland’s transition to a clean energy future. We work with Government, homeowners, businesses, and communities to achieve this, through expertise, funding, educational programmes, policy advice, research, and the development of new technologies.

SEAI is the official source of energy data for Ireland. We develop and maintain comprehensive national and sectoral statistics for energy production, transformation and end-use. These data are a vital input in meeting international reporting obligations, for advising policy makers and informing investment decisions. SEAI is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.