A new food and agriculture innovation and entrepreneurship training programme was announced today (22 April) by University College Dublin (UCD) for innovators and entrepreneurs in the middle stage of their careers. Applications are now open for The programme commencing in September, which is to be delivered in partnership with Teagasc.

There are 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. Participants will be provided with a €38,000 tax-free scholarship during the programme.

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

Participants will also spend 8-10 weeks immersed in agricultural environments including farms and food processing companies throughout the year-long programme. This is an accredited Level 9 course meaning on completion graduates will be awarded a Diploma in Agricultural Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Real-world needs

According to Gary Ryan, Director, AgTechUCD, the programme is aimed at discovering real-world needs through exposure to industry environments.

“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,” says Gary.

He adds, “I would encourage anybody meeting the programme criteria and with an interest in building a business that will deliver innovative solutions in support of sustainable agri and food sectors to engage with the process as early as possible. Interest is already high and is likely to build even further in the coming weeks”.

For further information and to apply for the programme visit: https://www.frsrecruitment.com/fast-ip