Innovation not left to chance in new programme at NUI Galway

TechInnovate uses MIT model of ‘disciplined enterpreneurship’ to come up with new ideas

John Breslin, director of the programme: “Most people think that innovation happens by accident or serendipity, but we aim to apply team work and training to allow for this also.”  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

John Breslin, director of the programme: “Most people think that innovation happens by accident or serendipity, but we aim to apply team work and training to allow for this also.” Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

“Disciplined entrepreneurship” for design thinking has been applied to a new fellowship programme developed by NUI Galway (NUIG).

The TechInnovate programme directed by NUIG electronic engineer John Breslin aims to form multidisciplinary teams to come up with new ideas.

“Most people think that innovation happens by accident or serendipity, but we aim to apply team work and training to allow for this also,” said Dr Breslin.

Dr Breslin is co-founder of boards.ie, adverts.ie and, more recently, the start-up hub PorterShed.

Agriculture and defence have been selected as the first two sectors for the programme. Six fellows, with experience in technology, business and design, will be “immersed” with farmers and members of the Defence Forces during the 10-month programme.

Electronic engineer Ronan Boyle, financial services specialist Greg Payne and visual narrative designer Leon Butler have been selected for the defence team.

Medtech and pharmaceutical industry quality and risk management specialist Niamh Lynch, marketing and international business executive Ciara Shields and designer Paul Flynn, who has an education and engineering background, have been selected for the agriculture team.

The “disciplined entrepreneurship” concept was developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr Breslin says.

TechInnovate is similar to the BioInnovate forum formed in 2011 to identify opportunities in the medical device sector.