On behalf of Shannon Group, I would like to warmly welcome you to Shannon this morning. We are being joined here today by delegates from across the world. I hope that during your visit you will get the opportunity to see what our Shannon Campus has to offer and experience the many wonders of our region. For those of you from across the globe joining us virtually, I hope you find today’s conference both informative and enjoyable.
It is wonderful to have an in-person event and it is very fitting that this event is being held here to showcase the exciting developments at our new Future Mobility Campus Ireland facility here in Shannon.
For those of you unfamiliar with Shannon Group, we are focused on helping to deliver a vibrant, thriving economy in our region and making Shannon a great place to work, live and visit.
The core of our business is here in the Shannon campus which at its heart has Shannon International Airport and is surrounded by an extensive property portfolio. The Shannon Free Zone, where we are today, is one of Ireland’s largest multi-sectoral business parks. We also currently operate a range of popular tourist attractions across the Region.
Our airport provides vital air connectivity to support the region’s business and tourism sectors, while our property portfolio provides a range of business accommodation solutions that make our region an attractive place to locate.
We want our region to prosper and grow and that’s why we are delighted that FMCI are an expanding part of our Shannon Campus ecosystem, which complements our growing cluster of over 80 aviation companies based in the region.
Here in Shannon, we are proud of our long history of world firsts, in fact innovation is in our DNA. Back in 1947, the world’s first duty free shop was opened at Shannon International Airport. The concept was replicated and is now a multi-billion-dollar global industry.
In 1959, Shannon Free Zone was established as the world’s first free trade zone. Our free zone model has been copied around the world and in particular in China where it was adapted to create their Special Economic Zones.
In 1986, Shannon International Airport was the first airport in Europe to offer U.S. immigration services for commercial carriers and was later expanded into full U.S. Custom and Border pre-clearance. Subsequently, in 2010, Shannon became the first in the world to offer full pre-clearance for private aircraft.
I am proud to say that the tradition of innovation is continuing with the work of Future Mobility Campus Ireland land and air, in the development of a testbed for cutting edge technology and research facilities. Shannon Group is committed to nurturing a connected ecosystem where the future mobility industry can thrive and grow.
I know the Electronomous organisers have a wonderful event planned for you today with a mix of keynote presentations, live demos and engaging panel discussions, along with a host of showcasing opportunities.
All that is left for me to do is to wish you an enjoyable and informative day and hopefully this will become the first of many such events here at Shannon.