Farm machinery working in a field

UCD And Teagasc to Partner For Agri Innovation Training

In collaboration with Teagasc, the government has allocated €7 million to UCD over the course of the next six years to create a new training program focused on food and farm innovation and entrepreneurship.

In an effort to increase the number of high-potential start-ups and jobs in the food and agricultural sector, the Food and agricultural Sustainable Technology innovative Programme (FAST-IP) seeks to advance innovative knowledge within the industry.

Mid-career professionals are the target audience for this 12-month in-person program. A graduate diploma in agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship, or a Level 9 on the National Qualifications Framework, will be awarded to each of the program’s fifteen participants.

For the duration of the course, which will concentrate on a combination of methodological and practical approaches, participants will earn a tax-free stipend of €38,000. During this time, they will spend eight weeks immersed in agricultural surroundings, such as farms and food processing firms.

“Ireland’s Sustainable Food and AgTech industry is already a success and nationally important, contributing an estimated €8bn to the economy and employing over 160,000 people,” Minister Simon Coveney said in a statement.

This initiative aims to boost innovation within the industry by equipping participants with the essential skills to assess, choose, and authenticate concepts for fresh products and services. Throughout its duration, FAST-IP anticipates fostering the emergence of new Sustainable Food and AgTech SMEs and High Potential Start-Ups, potentially generating hundreds of employment opportunities.

Professor Nick Holden, who co-founded Proveye, a UCD spin-out company specializing in utilizing digital imagery for agricultural purposes, will lead the program as its academic director. The inaugural group of participants is scheduled to commence the program at the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre in September 2024.

Read more on UCD’s website here.

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