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Pictured at Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) – from left: Helen Downes CEO and Eoin Gavin, president, Shannon Chamber; Dr Wassim Derguech, FMCI; Claire McInerney Brown, director, Kilkenny Chamber; Professor Luda Leontieva, Dan Dzina, Scott Kennedy, Robert Hogan, Patricia Colucci, Jeremy Davis, Nate Harper and Maggie Stryffeler, Kent State University, Ohio. Photo Eamon Ward.

Executive MBA (EMBA) students from Kent State University, Ohio, USA, visited Shannon last week as part of a study-abroad trip to Ireland, organised by the College’s Professor Luda Leontieva and Claire McInerney Brown, Suasmane Consulting, a Sixmilebridge native, now living in Kilkenny.

Shannon and Kilkenny Chambers hosted the visit at the invitation of Ms Brown, who, as a director of Kilkenny Chamber, is keen to see future collaborations between Kilkenny and Clare in many different guises.

During their visit, the group met with several industries within the Mid-West region and Shannon Free Zone. Jerry Moloney, regional director Mid-West, Enterprise Ireland facilitated a comprehensive overview of the financial supports provided to indigenous start-ups and SMEs.

Shannon Chamber president Eoin Gavin and CEO Helen Downes curated an afternoon’s visit to the Future Mobility Campus of Ireland (FMCI) where chief operating officer (COO) Dr Wassim Derguech brought the group on a facility tour, highlighting FMCI’s plans for establishing an advanced air mobility hub for drone technologies and connected and autonomous vehicles’ testing facilities.

The group also visited Jaguar Land Rover’s R&D Software Engineering Centre where Noel Moloney, operations manager and Fiona Gilchrist, R&D strategy lead, further impressed on the business students the application of software engineering with regards to connected, autonomous vehicles.

Commenting on the value of a visit of this nature, Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes said: “We were delighted to accommodate this visit and would welcome more groups of this nature as it gives companies and the Chamber the opportunity to raise the profile of the type of companies that are doing business in Shannon.”

Claire McInerney Brown added: “The visit to Shannon was inspirational. Relationships were established and strengthened, and the promise of future collaborations ensured that all present concluded the day on a hugely optimistic note”.

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