The TCD/ UCD Innovation Alliance Announces Appointment of Innovation Academy Course Co-Directors

Posted on: 20 July 2010

The Innovation Alliance partners, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, announced today the appointment of Professor Paul Coughlan (TCD) and  Professor Suzi Jarvis (UCD) as Course Co-Directors in the Innovation Academy. This is a key academic leadership role and will have primary responsibility for the joint Diploma/Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the Innovation Academy.

The Innovation Academy is the educational centrepiece of the TCD-UCD Innovation Alliance and aims to fundamentally change doctoral education by establishing innovation, alongside research and education, as a key outcome of PhD training. The mission of the Innovation Academy is to develop a new breed of creative graduate – an expert in their discipline, but with a thorough understanding of how innovation can rapidly convert knowledge, ideas and inventions into products, services and policies for economic and social benefit. The recent award of €1.72 million towards the funding of the Innovation Academy in PRTLI (Cycle 5) is an endorsement of this mission.

Professors Coughlan and Jarvis are leading the development of the Academy’s unique approach to training PhD students from both universities in innovation and entrepreneurial skills. Both universities have approved the first modules of the joint Diploma/ Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  The first cohort of students will be recruited to the Academy in September 2010.

The Innovation Academy will be an exciting intellectual space where students and academics interact in interdisciplinary groups with business and industry mentors to develop and nurture creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and teamwork.  The Innovation Academy’s award of  PRTLI funding will contribute to the ongoing development of graduate training in innovation and entrepreneurship within both institutions.

In addition to the appointment of the course directors, TCD is now recruiting an Academy Facilitator who will coach, mentor and support students on multi-disciplinary projects central to this training. Further information and full application details are available from

Professor Paul Coughlan

Paul Coughlan joined Trinity College Dublin in 1993 and is currently Associate Professor of Operations Management in Trinity’s School of Business.  Following an early career in engineering management in shipbuilding and offshore construction, Paul returned to academia as a lecturer in the Department of Management in UCC before completing a PhD in the area of product development at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.  On graduation, he joined the operations management faculty of the London Business School before moving to TCD.  Paul’s career has been largely research active and he has both developed and taught modules that focus on the improvement of product development and manufacturing processes, areas that are central to innovation practice and performance.  Paul’s recognition of how doctoral education can provide researchers with the opportunities to influence and lead in the commercialisation of research findings grew out of his roles as President of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) and as a director of a TCD campus company, Magnetic Solutions Ltd, and its evolution into a competitor in the international market for semiconductor process equipment.  Paul’s experience, orientation and enthusiasm for teaching and research form the foundation of his role as co-director.

Professor Suzi Jarvis

Suzi Jarvis graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Physics and a Kodak sponsored DPhil in Materials. She then undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in Japan at the Joint Research Center for Atom Technology, Tsukuba. Suzi moved to Ireland in July 2002 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland to become a Research Professor in the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin. Suzi is currently Professor of Biophysics in the UCD School of Physics and is based in the UCD Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research. Suzi works with a multidisciplinary team ranging from electrical engineers to botanists. The underlying theme to all her projects is to understand, manipulate and ultimately utilise the function of biomolecules. The group has particular strengths in the development and application of novel atomic force microscopy techniques, especially in the liquid environment. She has a long-held interest in PhD training and, in particular, the role of innovation and creativity.

The Innovation Alliance is a partnership working with the education sector, the State and its agencies alongside the business and venture capital communities to develop a world-class ecosystem for innovation that will drive enterprise development in Ireland.