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Pictured at the Gateway Hub launch were, from left, Aidan Brogan, CEO Datalex, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD, Rose Hynes, Chairman Shannon Group and Shannon Commercial Properties MD Ray O’Driscoll. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

Minister Breen launches Shannon innovation hub

A new innovation hub has been launched in Shannon by the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen. It is hoped that the Gateway Hub at Shannon Airport House will become a major start-up centre for business in the Mid-West region.

The launch event was the first official opening of a facility at the newly branded Gateway West section of the Shannon Free Zone, which is undergoing a €25 million phase one redevelopment. The Shannon Free Zone is currently home to over 150 companies, employing over 7,500 people.

The Gateway Hub will transform the ground floor of Airport House – recently renovated at a cost of €1 million – into an incubation space for start-up businesses from different sectors, aiming to drive the development of Irish and international start-up companies in the aviation sector.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Breen said: “The work that Shannon Group and its property company Shannon Commercial Properties have done in regenerating the Shannon Free Zone for future entrepreneurs and FDI companies is to be commended. The Gateway Hub is another strong statement of the ambition and confidence that they, and all the partners involved in the Propeller Shannon programme, have for the region and for the companies who will use this space. The facility will allow them to thrive and hopefully expand their operation at Shannon Free Zone in the future.”

The first round of the Propeller Shannon start-up programme companies will be housed at the Gateway Hub. It hopes to drive the development of innovative Irish and international start-up companies in the aviation sector by tapping into the unique aerospace ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

Ray O’Driscoll, Shannon Commercial Properties managing director, said the launch was “a significant moment for us in our redevelopment of the Shannon Free Zone”.

He continued, explaining why the Gateway Hub was a major pillar of the development plans: “We are just over two years into the first phase of the programme and have completed a huge amount of work, mostly for large multinational and indigenous employers.

“However, this is a very important project to us, as the Gateway Hub is all about nurturing businesses from start-up through to growth phase, and hopefully to build long-term sustainable businesses in the mid-west.”

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