Module Details

Title: Innovation and Creativity for the Agri-Food Researcher UCD
Coordinator: Julie Dowsett Contributors:

Dr Paidi O'Reilly, UCC Irish Management Institute

The idea of this module is to understand the process for commercialisation of research, and also to understand the impact of your research, not just from a commercial aspect, but also from an academic perspective.

Over the first 2 days Dr Paidi O’Reilly an Innovation Specialist from the IMI and UCC, develops the theme of identifying what you do, for who and why. He introduced the researchers to tools to help them to understand what people want, and how they can position their research to address this need. At the end of the 2nd day each researcher presents their project as a product. 

On the 3rd day a selection of speakers from industry and entrepreneurs tell their story about commercialising their research.


This module has been designed to introduce a postgraduate researcher to the possibilities of innovation in the agri food sector. The workshops explore how research and entrepreneurship overlap, and how a creative problem solving framework can progress both. A number of tools and techniques will be explored that can help nurture a more creative mind-set. You will learn how impact statements are required in proposal writing to maximise your chances of funding.


The first 2 days of the module will be facilitated by Dr Paidi O’Reilly.

Paidi is an adjunct innovation lecturer at UCC and is on the global lecturing panel at the Irish Management Institute. 

For the past seven years he has been undertaking research in the area of innovation management. He was awarded his PhD for design and visual thinking tools that can be used by management teams in formulating business and innovation strategies. He has over 20 years involvement in planning, managing and implementing a diverse range of innovation projects. 

Aim of module: To adopt a human-centred approach to explaining the impact of your research and appraising the commercial opportunity it gives rise to.

Target audience:

All PhD researchers working in the area of agriculture, food or health.

These skills will be valuable for your future career whether you work in academia and collaborate with industry, or if you work in an agri food industry where innovation is a cornerstone to growth.

Learning outcomes and impact:

Attendees will gain experience in:

• Exploring the business potential of their research in its widest sense

• Applying a generic creative problem solving framework to first re-frame individual entrepreneurial challenges, and then find ideas to meet these challenges.

• Applying an idea-generation tool to a research field in order to identify new opportunities. 

Module delivery:

Lectures with practical components of using the tools discussed to embed the learning

Module assessment:

Development of a slide deck capturing the impact of your rearch at a scientific, commercial or societal level.


‘Really enjoyed all aspects ‘

‘Really amazing module – should be compulsory for all researchers!’

‘Thoroughly enjoyed very interesting and applicable’

‘Made great contacts’

‘Learned a lot’

‘Very informative really enjoyed, helpful for career development’

‘Opened my eyes well run organised informative course very beneficial and enjoyable will use skills going forward very beneficial three days’