Irish university to build AgTech Connector Innovation Hub

NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD) was recently awarded €3 million in funding to develop a program that furthers new technologies in agriculture.

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Plans for an AgTech Connector Innovation Hub, located at the UCD Lyons Farm, Co. Kildare, Ireland, are in the works (UCD).
Plans for an AgTech Connector Innovation Hub, located at the UCD Lyons Farm, Co. Kildare, Ireland, are in the works (UCD).

NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD) was recently awarded â‚¬3 million in funding to develop a program that furthers new technologies in agriculture.

Furthering collaboration

The AgTech Connector Innovation Hub will be located at the UCD Lyons Farm in Co. Kildare. The UCD Lyons Farm – located between Celbridge and Newcastle – is comprised of approximately 618 acres of poultry, dairy, beef, sheep, equine crop and environmental research, teaching and commercial facilities.

“To date at the UCD Lyons Farm, we have carried out some nutrition along with breeding and genetics, and image analysis or animal identification-related work on poultry and through the planned AgTech Connector we have the possibility to team up with commercial operations for larger scale poultry studies,” Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, said.

The project aims to provide ag tech companies with access to on-farm research collaboration opportunities and a location to test products and services in a real-world environment. The Canadian government recently announced a similar initiative designed to support the growth of food production.

“This is a very exciting development for UCD Lyons Farm and the many agriculture and food entrepreneurs that we engage with. It builds on UCD’s success in translating knowledge into impact and will greatly stimulate our agriculture, food and environmental science research and education activities,” Alex Evans, Head of the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, said in the press release.

Regional Enterprise Development Fund

NovaUCD was one of 26 successful applicants who were recently approved for funding under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF).

REDF is a government program introduced in 2017 to support regional projects that drive sustainable job creation. The projects selected were evaluated on impacts and value for money, collaboration and participation, viability and sustainability, building regional strengths and significance for innovation.

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