Official opening of the mobiLAB, the new head office for VEDECOM
The mobiLAB was officially opened on 7 February by Pierre Bédier, President of the Department of Yvelines, François de Mazières, President of the Urban Community Versailles Grand Parc, and Marie-Célie Guillaume, CEO of Satory MOBILITE. Representatives from Banque des Territoires, GCC Immobilier and the architectural firm Valero Gadan also attended. This was an important symbolic event, unveiling this 7,100 m² property complex as a showcase for the Versailles-Satory innovative mobility cluster.
The mobiLAB, paving the way for an innovative mobility cluster at Versailles-Satory
On Thursday, 7 February, in brilliant sunshine, the golden buildings of the mobiLAB welcomed some 200 invited guests for its inauguration. The four-storey complex includes research facilities, laboratories, workshops and offices, all in direct proximity to the test tracks and to other mobility stakeholders such as Renault, PSA, Arquus and Nexter. It is one of the first concrete realisations of the global project to develop an innovative mobility cluster within the centre of excellence that is Versailles-Satory. The complex is now home to the three major stakeholders VEDECOM, Transdev and IFSTTAR (the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks), which has occupied premises at the site since 2009. Eventually, nearly 300 researchers will work side by side at this unique research centre.
A project driven by the semi-public company Satory MOBILITE
“Our goal is to keep pushing forward to establish this cluster, based around the mobiLAB. We want to see these companies working together towards the common aim of developing innovative mobility projects”, explains Marie-Célie Guillaume, CEO of the semi-public company Satory MOBILITE, which has invested €17 million euros in backing the project. Born out of a partnership between the Department of Yvelines and the Urban Community of Versailles Grand Parc, with links to a number of private stakeholders, the long-term purpose of the semi-public company Satory MOBILITY is to develop property solutions on the Satory plateau for all stakeholders of the automotive research ecosystem. The company opted to build this first project with the property developer GCC Immobilier, one of the top ten building and civil works companies in France. The building design contract was awarded to the architectural firm Valero Gadan.
“The Department is fully committed to creating an environment that allows businesses to prosper, by developing the infrastructures that they need”, stresses Pierre Bédier, President of the Department of Yvelines. François de Mazières, President of the Urban Community of Versailles Grand Parc and Mayor of Versailles, also confirmed that the Versailles-Satory cluster “will serve as a laboratory for tomorrow’s public transport solutions. With the aim of providing residents with a quality service, fully aligned with the economic issues related to the environment and new forms of mobility.”
Outstanding infrastructure to promote further research into autonomous vehicles
With handover completed in October 2018, the mobiLAB became the head office of the VEDECOM Institute in November 2018. With its 200 employees, the Institute is using 75% of the building’s capacity. According to Managing Director, Philippe Watteau, “With the vast majority of VEDECOM staff now working under the same roof at Versailles-Satory, the mobiLAB is for us a real enabler of internal cooperation and innovation across our entire ecosystem. It also raises the profile of our activities and gives much greater recognition to the work of our staff”.
Designed as a shared centre of excellence and a hub for collaborative research, VEDECOM now enjoys access to the high added-value facilities at the mobiLAB: 790 m² of workshops, 215 m² of laboratories, two simulator rooms (pedestrian simulator and driving simulator), a Connectivity and Monitoring lab, two training rooms. Added to this are the workspaces shared with IFSTTAR: 530 m² of workshops and 30 m² of laboratories. At a stone’s throw from the mobiLAB, the Institute also has facilities alongside the test tracks. Hall A houses a power electronics lab, a Fab Lab dedicated to electric machines and another to autonomous vehicles. VEDECOM has developed the world’s only induction charging track and characterisation test bench for inductive research. It also has use of tracks for testing autonomous vehicles. The addition of a walkway linking the mobiLAB to the tracks and laboratories is planned for the near future. An outstanding facility to help accelerate the autonomous vehicle from fantasy to reality!
To find more about VEDECOM in 2018, read our article about Deep Tech Promoting Sustainable Mobility
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