The TCD-UCD Innovation Academy is officially Opened

Dublin, November 19th, 2010 – The Innovation Academy, the educational centrepiece of the TCD-UCD Innovation Alliance was officially opened on Friday November 19th 2010.

The Innovation Alliance was formed by Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, as part of the national drive to realise Ireland’s ambition to create a Smart Economy. The Academy’s mission is to transform the PhD experience by imbuing graduate research and education with creative thinking and innovation. The Academy will develop a new breed of graduate, where a disciplinary and technical expertise is fused with an ambition to create new enterprises, enhance public service and further harness Ireland’s cultural heritage. It opened its doors in its new city-centre location at Foster Place, in September and its first intake of 33 PhD students from TCD and UCD drawn from diverse disciplines are taking ECTS-accredited modules towards the joint Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship*. It is expected that two additional cohorts will commence this year.

Welcoming the opening of the Innovation Academy, the Provost of TCD, Dr John Hegarty, and the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady said that today is a practical demonstration of the progressive cooperation between Ireland's leading universities:

"With the Innovation Alliance, we laid out our vision for a meaningful partnership which was built upon the strengths of our institutions. In reaching this important milestone, it is very clear that we are competitors not against one another but in the world arena. Together, through the realisation of the Innovation Academy, we have demonstrated the capacity and drive to deliver this new approach to graduate education in Ireland. The Academy is about people. In partnership with industry expertise, it is a powerful model for equipping the future thought leaders of this country with the capacity to combine cutting edge research with the entrepreneurial and innovative abilities so needed for Ireland’s sustainability and revival.”

The Academy is a departure from existing programmes at the two universities, which account for 50% of PhD training in Ireland. Professor Paul Coughlan (TCD) and Professor Suzi Jarvis (UCD) , Course Co-Directors are leading the development of the Academy. Professor Coughlan explained: “We are educating our PhD students to recognise the innovation potential of their research and to exploit their new ideas in multidisciplinary teams in a competitive world. We see innovation in its broadest sense, encompassing the creative arts, social entrepreneurship, science, engineering, technology, humanities and business.”

Professor Jarvis concluded: “I have no doubt that this is the right time to bring this new dimension into our educational programmes. Ireland has created first class research programmes over the past 10 years and built a PhD education that attracts students from all over the world. We are ideally placed in this country to engender innovation in our graduates, given our strong history of invention, culture and entrepreneurship. Just look at the achievements of our diaspora. Let’s bring that ambition home!”

 

Posted 22 November 2010

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