June 15th – 18th, 2014 Institute of Technology, Tralee
The TRADEIT Entrepreneurial Summer Academy, recently hosted by the Institute of Technology, Tralee, was a 3 day intensive entrepreneurial and innovative training programme to Post Graduate Food Researchers and Research Centre Managers active in the Traditional Agri-food Sector. The 26 Academy participants were selected from competitive call for the top Food Researchers and Research Centre Mangers in Europe.
The aim of the academy was to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to develop their entrepreneurial and innovative mindset. Participants were provided with the opportunity to consider setting up their own business and/or leading innovative solutions for an existing Traditional Food SME. The programme is also open to Research Centre Managers enabling them to consider alternative strategies for integrating and scaling up their centres.
Commenting on the 3 day academy Breda O Dwyer, Manager of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (CEED) at IT, Tralee and Academy Coordinator said “the modules provided the participants with insights in the Entrepreneurial Mindset, Female Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Idea Generation, IP Management and Finance. One of the key messages was on value and art of networking, students were provided with training and insights on how to effectively utilize this business tool to develop and scale their proposed business ideas”.
The Academy was delivered by leaders from Enterprise and Academia, with lectures, break out sessions, pitching and panels sessions. The panels were comprised of key stakeholders from the TRADEIT network, with representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Kerry Group, the European Federation of Food Research (EFFoST), international IP Consultants and traditional food producing SMEs.
The 3 days culminated in an awards ceremony which awarded prizes to three categories - the research business co-operation, research center manager and food enterprise award. Those selected as category winners demonstrated the highest potential commercial within their research. The awardees received commemorative hand crafted TRADEIT plaques and received 6 mentoring sessions from an enterprise leader within their region.
According to TRADEIT Project Coordinator Dr Helena McMahon under the TRADEIT programme two more TRADEIT Summer Entrepreneurial Academies will take place. “The next academy will be in Italy in 2015, followed by Germany in 2016 the culmination of which will be the development of a model of best practice for training of food researchers in entrepreneurship which will be rolled out across Europe”.