UCD secures €3m in funding to establish Innovation Hub at Lyons Farm

Lambs and ewes grazing multi-species sward at UCD Lyons Farm
Lambs and ewes grazing multi-species sward at UCD Lyons Farm

NovaUCD (UCD Nova DAC), 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.

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.

This project will be led by NovaUCD, in collaboration with AIB, Kildare County Council, and Kildare LEO; agri-companies including, Devenish, Dairymaster, and Glanbia; investors Finistere, The Yield Lab, and Atlantic Bridge, and leading AgTech researchers and innovators at UCD, Teagasc and Wageningen, Netherlands.

Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, NovaUCD said, “The global AgTech sector is ripe for disruption and Ireland now has a great opportunity to leverage its unique assets to develop innovative, job creating AgTech companies with global ambition.”

“With AIB, and the support of our project collaborators, we will now develop a nationwide innovation challenge programme to identify a pipeline of early-stage high-potential AgTech innovations, entrepreneurs and new ventures to accelerate through the new AgTech Connector Innovation Hub. The new hub will also act as an international showcase destination for business and investors to view the best of innovation in AgTech in Ireland.”

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