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Scholarship programme to drive innovation in food and agri sector

Scholarship programme to drive innovation in food and agri sector

University College Dublin (UCD) today announced that applications are now open for a new food and agriculture innovation and entrepreneurship training programme, commencing this September, to be delivered by the university in partnership with Teagasc.

There are only 15 places available on the 12-month, in-person Food and Agriculture Sustainable Technology Innovation Programme (FAST-IP), which is aimed at mid-career professionals. FAST-IP will provide participants with a €38,000 tax-free scholarship during the programme.

The goal of FAST-IP is to further enhance innovation in the food and agricultural sector by providing programme participants with the necessary skills to evaluate, select and validate ideas for new products and services and to accelerate the commercialisation pathway.

FAST-IP is accredited by UCD at Level 9 on the National Qualifications Framework and participants who complete the programme will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

FAST-IP will be delivered by the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, in partnership with Teagasc, at the newly opened AgTechUCD Innovation Centre at UCD Lyons Farm in Co. Kildare. Professor Nick Holden, Professor of Biosystems Engineering in the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering is the Academic Director of the Graduate Diploma Programme.

Gary Ryan, Director of AgTechUCD, said: “The success of FAST-IP will depend to a great extent on attracting the right mix of high-calibre individuals to the programme. FAST-IP is designed to cater for mid-career individuals who have accumulated significant professional experience to date and who are now interested in pivoting towards an entrepreneurial journey based on the development of an innovative technology that will support sustainable practices in the agricultural and food sectors.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Head of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, Teagasc, said: “Enhancing entrepreneurship and innovation in the food and agricultural sector to deliver impacts nationally and globally requires multi-disciplinary approaches from engineering to marketing from food science to ICT. The FAST-IP programme delivered by UCD and Teagasc will enable participants to deliver new solutions for the longer term sustainability of the agri-food sector.”

The FAST-IP programme, running until the end of 2029, forms part of Enterprise Ireland’s Innovators’ Initiative which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

How to apply?

UCD and Teagasc are partnering with FRS Recruitment to recruit participants for the FAST-IP programme starting this September.

For further information and to apply for the programme click here.