Trinity’s Tangent to power innovation in Ireland’s regions

Trinity College Dublin’s ideas workspace and entrepreneurship hub Tangent is bringing its postgraduate cert in Innovation & Enterprise Development to Longford, Cavan, Tipperary and Waterford.

This will enable participants in those regions to get a Trinity qualification in their hometown.

Trinity has partnered with Bank of Ireland on its postgraduate certificate in Innovation & Enterprise Development and an earlier phase in March of this year took in the counties of Limerick, Galway and Dublin.

“For the nation, we must ensure companies and people stay relevant in this constant flux of change. We need to provide the skills for continuous learning and also the tools for people to continuously reinvent themselves”

Backed by Springboard, the programme is open to employees of companies as well as people returning to the workforce or looking to start businesses. For returnees and budding entrepreneurs, the course will be free but for employees of companies 90pc of the cost of attaining the Level 9 qualification will be covered, resulting in a fee of just €240.

Tangent is Trinity College Dublin’s ideas workspace and it is housed in the newly expanded, state-of-art School of Business. As well as educating Trinity students in entrepreneurship it is home to a number of start-up accelerators such as Launchbox, as well as programmes for helping traditional organisations embrace innovation. Focused accelerators include the Digital Health Validator programme, Climate Greenhouse and Ambassadors in Health Innovation.

Succeeding in the age of automation

Speaking with ThinkBusiness.ie, the CEO of Tangent Ken Finnegan explained that the decision to choose Longford, Cavan, Tipperary and Waterford was partly in response to research that identified the 10 Irish towns most at risk from automation, research by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor that claimed less than half of people in Ireland have the skills and knowledge to create enterprises.

“Based on this, we decided to bring the course to towns that will need to roll with the changes but also use innovation and entrepreneurship to prevent potential blackspots emerging because of the evolution of innovation.”

The 20-week programme will consist of a combination of in-class delivery and online learning and will take place in town centre locations in partnership with Bank of Ireland.

“This is about making Trinity accessible regionally and provide innovators and entrepreneurs who can make a change in their region with a Level 9 qualification.

“Companies themselves are becoming more aware and understanding of the need to innovate and transform. Change is happening at a daily rate and innovators need to be aware of the new tools, services and ways of doing things.”

The number of participants will be limited to 80 people between four locations. The deadline for applications is 23 August.

“The main thing to realise is this is experiential learning, not by-rote learning and it is aimed at people who want to pivot or transform their companies whether they are SMEs or multinationals and are going through some major transformation. We want to work with the individuals on the ground to help them on that journey.

“We want to help entrepreneurs or professionals who want to upskill and bring thinking practices into their organisation.”

According to Finnegan, we need to ensure that Ireland’s towns and regions are prepared to weather the storm of changes that will be caused by technology and automation. Central to this is empowering capable people with the skills and knowledge to drive innovation.

“For the nation, we must ensure companies and people stay relevant in this constant flux of change. We need to provide the skills for continuous learning and also the tools for people to continuously reinvent themselves.”

Pictured: Trinity College Dublin Tangent CEO Ken Finnegan. Image: John Kennedy

Written by John Kennedy

Published: 3 July 2019