Calling on ambitious innovators to shape the future of the Irish food and drink industry

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 16:45

Bord Bia and Maynooth University look for aspiring innovators to join industry-first programme

Bord Bia and Maynooth University have teamed up to offer an industry-first programme which aims to enhance the innovation capabilities within the Irish food, drink and horticultural sector.  The MSc Design Innovation (Food) is currently seeking applications from individuals with a creative flair, a passion for innovation and a genuine ambition to develop a career within Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. Irish food and drinks companies with an interest in accelerating new product development can also benefit from having a programme participant join their team for the duration of the course.

Food is Ireland’s largest industry with an annual turnover of €25bn, exports of €10.8bn and a total of 230,000 jobs supported. The growth targets for the sector are ambitious and require a world class capacity for insight driven innovation to be achieved.

Padraig Brennan, Director of Markets, Bord Bia said: “In order for the Irish food and drink industry to achieve our ambitious growth targets, we need to proactively attract, develop and retain new talent with a range of strategic capabilities. Novel, insight-led innovations and a creative way of thinking for the food, beverage and horticulture industry are essential in order to maintain our competitive edge. This new collaboration with Maynooth University will allow us to build world-class talent in the area of innovation and design thinking, complementing our existing suite of programmes which focus on marketing, sustainability and international business.”

Placements and industry projects are an integral part of the programme and will provide participants with an opportunity to bridge the theory of innovation and strategy. The new programme builds on the success of the award-winning MSc in Design Innovation which was launched at Maynooth University in 2014 and was the first of its kind in Europe and one of the only postgraduate programmes in Ireland dedicated to radical innovation.  

Dr Peter Robbins, Head of Department Design Innovation, Maynooth University said: “The MSc in Design Innovation for food is a world-class innovation programme that will create a step change in the agri-food industry’s capacity to grow through insight-led innovation. We have taken a human-centred approach to innovation, drawing on the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. Here in Maynooth University we have been steadily building a capability in design innovation for some years.  Having Ireland’s only department of anthropology, with world class expertise in ethnography gives us a considerable edge in finessing insights. We’ve built a comprehensive programme that will help food and drink businesses go from the heartbeat of a new idea to the highstreet with a tangible innovation using insight-led processes.”

Attend the Open Evening on Tuesday, 5 September, to find out more.

Application Process
Applications are currently being sought from individuals and companies interested in participating in the programme, the closing date for which is Friday, September 15, 2017. The programme is financially supported by Bord Bia and industry and successful participants will have their fees paid and receive a bursary of €20,000 per annum. Individuals and companies interested in applying are encouraged to visit for more information.

The programme further enhances Bord Bia’s existing talent development offering which currently has 57 individuals, participating in four distinct action-learning programmes located in 11 different markets around the world.