AgTechUCD Centre Manager - Job Opportunity with UCD Nova DAC

AgTechUCD Centre Manager - Job Opportunity with UCD Nova DAC

UCD Nova DAC, a subsidiary of University College Dublin, wishes to appoint an AgTechUCD Innovation Centre Manager. This role will be based at the UCD Lyons Farm in Celbridge and at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin.

AgTechUCD Innovation Centre will be based at the UCD Lyons Research Farm in Celbridge, Co. Kildare and will provide incubation space and on-farm testing for new products and services. It will run a series of Ideation events and a Nationwide AgTech Innovation Challenge Programme to identify and support start-ups and established businesses develop creative new products and services. It will also be a focal point for the AgTech innovation ecosystem and an innovation showcase for the best that Ireland has to offer the world in AgTech.   

AgTechUCD Innovation Centre is a collaboration between NovaUCD, AIB, Kildare County Council, and Kildare LEO and is funded by the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. It also includes support from agri-companies such as; Devenish, Dairymaster, and Glanbia; investors such as; Finistere, The Yield Lab, and Atlantic Bridge, along with leading AgTech researchers and innovators at UCD, Teagasc and Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands. 

AgTechUCD is looking for an entrepreneurially minded individual, interested in the dynamic space of AgTech and agri-food start-ups, who has technical experience and a background in the agri sector. 

About the role:

Reporting to the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre Director, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following:

  • Proactively recruit and develop relationships with national and international start-ups as well as established companies to engage in on-farm testing and to benefit from the use of the incubation space including lab facilities.
  • Develop an on-farm testing network of farms in Ireland and further afield, to increase opportunity for the Centre startups to test in alternative ecosystems.
  • Actively identify Agri research and industry collaboration opportunities.
  • Contribute to the AgTechUCD Centre overall strategy and the annual planning process.
  • Build a panel of appropriate external mentors to support the Centres startup companies.
  • Identify and recruit startups and individuals for the Centres flagship programmes and events - pitch events, webinars, bootcamps, hackathons, training sessions, showcases, etc.
  • Support the AgTech Centre communication and marketing activities, through the creation of contents and advertisements (videos, digital and print communication) in order to build the AgTech Centre’s brand in the global market.
  • Experience in identifying funding opportunities both national and EU and writing tenders.
  • Welcome and support entrepreneurs through mentorship (economic and commercial feasibility, search for financing and partnerships, business plan development, connection with UCD researchers, etc.).
  • Attendance at industry led/networking events and staying up to date with the latest Agri industry and digital trends.
  • Perform other roles and duties as directed by the AgTechUCD Centre Director.

About you:

As AgTech Centre Manager, you will be an ambitious self-starter with strong organisational skills, who understands entrepreneurs and has a passion for advancing companies in the high growth AgTech, agri-food and veterinary science sectors.

We expect that your background and skills will bring a minimum of 5 years’ experience of management in fields such as enterprise development, innovation management in the agriculture/food/veterinary science sector and that you will have a relevant third-level qualification. 

  • You will have significant experience of leading innovation-focused projects in a multi-partner environment and experience of working with early-stage companies.
  • You will have a deep knowledge of the AgTech, agri-food and vet science sector and are well networked in the ecosystem.
  • Your will have experience of accelerating new ventures, formulating early-stage investable business plans for technology opportunities.
  • You will have good organisational and management skills and have a proven ability to work independently and to manage a large, diverse set of tasks and projects, results driven.
  • Flexibility (in working hours and tasks) and excellent verbal and written communication skills as well as a willingness to travel as needed and a full driving licence will all be essential for this position.
  • Fostering the AgTechUCD community of startups through events and webinar/speaker initiatives.
  • Extensive and strong relationships in the AgTech and agri-food business community in Ireland.
  • Proficiency in the use of social media platforms to support the Centres marketing and programme and event campaigns.

The following is a list of the desirable skills and capabilities:

  • A higher degree in Agri Business Management or Agricultural Science.
  • Strong understanding of the trends and market opportunities and a passion and understanding of AgTech, agri-food and vet technology advancements across a wide range of disciplines. 
  • Experience in supporting the delivery of successful new programmes for entrepreneurship and new venture support. 

Note: Applications close at 12 noon on Friday 21 January 2022.

  • Salary commensurate with experience.
  • Pension contribution.
  • Three-year contract.
  • Hybrid working environment, to be agreed in advance.

To apply for this opportunity, please send a CV and a cover letter to Niamh Collins, AgTechUCD Director, e:


14 December 2021

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, NovaUCD, e: