UCD Covid-19 Response

The UCD Community is rising to the challenge posed by the global pandemic

FoodShield: Helping Ireland’s AgriFood sector to bounce back

Lead Researchers: Professor Fiona DoohanUCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, Professor Chris Elliott, Queen’s University Belfast.

Ireland’s agricultural and food sector is key to our economy, including our exports. Covid-19 and Brexit pose major challenges to validating the safety and quality of food and animal feed, and this could have a major impact on Ireland’s ability to provide evidence to meet EU requirements. The FoodShield project, supported by Science Foundation Ireland and the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), will help the Irish AgriFood sector recover from delays and negative impacts associated with Covid-19 and assess their potential benefits at an all-Island level.

What is the issue?

Ireland’s food production sector is under threat from Covid-19 and Brexit, in part because they threaten our ability to validate food and feed safety and quality.

What will the research project do?

The FoodShield project led by University College Dublin will develop prototype digital technologies, underpinned by economic analysis and potential policy interventions, to help the Irish AgriFood sector to reduce delays and support Irish plant protein products using ubiquitous sensing, track and trace, food provenance and Internet of Things (IoT).

What will the impact be?

FoodShield will help to build the robustness, agility and transparency of our food systems and so support them as they bounce back from Covid-19 and capitalise on new opportunities.

Professor Fiona Doohan said: “FoodShield will help agriculture capitalise on the potential of track and trace systems to overcome threats and exploit new opportunities in the AgriFood sector.”

Project Team

Lead Applicant Professor Fiona Doohan

Co-Applicant Professor Chris Elliott


Professor Cathal O'Donoghue (NUIG)

Prof. Patrick Paul Walsh (UCD)

Dr. Josephine Brennan (DAFM)

Ms. Grace Anne Hurrell, Foods Connected

Ms. Eithne Nic Lochlainn, Lárionad Amchainní Nádúrtha CTR

Mr. Fergal Monaghan, Hen Harrier Project

Dr. Fiona Gwendolen Roberts, Foods Connected

Prof. Gregory O'Hare, UCD