It was announced today that NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD), has been awarded €3 million in funding to develop an AgTech Connector Innovation Hub at the UCD Lyons Farm in Co. Kildare.
In total over €40 million in funding was announced by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, in the latest results of the REDF, an open national competitive call to support regional projects that drive sustainable job creation in the regions.
The REDF was introduced in 2017, to co-finance the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative enterprise projects that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the regions in order to help sustain and add to employment at county, regional and national level.
NovaUCD was one of twenty-six (26) successful applicants, representing all regions of the country, who have recently been approved for funding under the third round of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF).
The UCD Lyons Farm is a fully functioning farm comprising of 250 hectares of land, with dairy, beef, sheep, equine, crop and environmental research, teaching and commercial facilities. The Farm is located between Celbridge and Newcastle.
The goal of the AgTech Connector Innovation Hub is to bring together the AgTech ecosystem in Ireland to accelerate the launch and scaling of AgTech companies by providing them with access to on-farm research collaboration opportunities, a location to test and trial their products and services in a real-world environment; along with access to dedicated acceleration programmes and incubation facilities.
Speaking about the initiative, Professor Alex Evans, Head, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science said, “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.”