Free part-time course in Food Innovation kicks off in 2 weeks

A free, part-time Certificate in Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship course has been announced by the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), which will be commencing at the end of the month.

This course, offered under the Government-funded Higher Education Springboard initiative, will be delivered by high-profile entrepreneurs such as: Brendan Allen of Castlemine Farms; Galway restaurateur JP McMahon; and Ronan Byrne, the man behind ‘The Friendly Farmer’.

Previously run in 2016, Springboard has awarded funding to deliver the course again this year.

‘Collaborative approach’

Graduates of the course who are now established food entrepreneurs will also contribute to the delivery of the course, detailing their start-up journey and how they went about it.

According to GMIT, the course is designed for those involved in the agri-food sector including local and regional food producers; the wider agricultural community; and farmers and food entrepreneurs, where entrepreneurial training has not typically been prioritised.

The course will provide participants with the knowledge and work-based skills required to foster and develop their ideas into successful businesses, according to the institute.


This part-time QQI Level 9 certificate will be delivered through ‘blended learning’ over two days per week for 18 weeks. One day will be classroom-based and the other will be delivered online.

The course commences at GMIT’s Galway campus on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. It is fully-funded by the Springboard Higher Education programme. There are 35 places on offer.

Moving away from the traditional style of teaching, this course will take a practice-based, collaborative approach in its delivery methods, the institute claims.

‘Learning by doing’

Dr. Lisa Ryan, head of the GMIT Department of Natural Sciences, commented on the programme, stating: “The course has been developed by a combination of qualified staff in Food Science and Nutrition together with a panel of food entrepreneurs and promotes work-based learning; for example, “learning by doing”.

Interacting with food entrepreneurs provides participants with the opportunity to network with like-minded people, be inspired by their success and learn the reality of setting up and growing a food business.

Applicants must apply for this course through the Springboard website. The closing date for applications is February 23.