Hannah Ryan & Leanna Byrne | News Editor & Editor
The University Times has learned that the college is planning to develop a certificate programme for undergraduate students with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. These plans were revealed in a recent interview with Provost Patrick Prendergast.
Commenting on the subject, Professor Vinny Cahill, Dean of Research, stated: “The planning is at an early stage so I cannot provide precise details now. We already offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship through the Innovation Academy and we would like to provide similar opportunities to undergraduate students.
“This is one of the key features of our Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy launched by Minister Bruton [Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation] last week.”
“We already offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship through the Innovation Academy and we would like to provide similar opportunities to undergraduate students.”
Dr Prendergast said: “The strategy that we launched last week went about bringing together a coordinated set of actions that improve what Trinity does in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. It involves developing our business school to be a component and driver of that strategy and it involves creating an innovation and entrepreneurship hub co-located with the new Trinity School of Business. This should lift the College’s ability to develop entrepreneurial activities whether that be business formation or creative or social entrepreneurship.”
He continued, “This is going to permeate in many ways the education that we offer in Trinity. There are educational initiatives that will be taken, such as the development of our Innovation Academy, the creation of an undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and so on. There is a great need for this in Trinity.” He also mentioned that LaunchBox, an incubator programme offering funding and support for student business ventures, will run again next year with the possibility of increased funding, which Professor Cahill will oversee.
The Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship document states the intention to “forge an entrepreneurial campus” and “further embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship right across the University…[the] Strategy will permeate the activities of Trinity’s 24 academic schools, as well as integrating our flagship research institutes.” This will also involve the establishment of a new “creative quarter” through a €70 million building project which will extend from Pearse Street to Grand Canal Basin.
The document also cites the forty-five start-up companies incubated on campus for 2013 and the 290 inventions from 2008-2013, as well as the 1,700 members of the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society (10% of the student population) as indicators of the College’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.