EIGHT of Ireland’s leading seafood companies put their innovative ideas to the test at the first of three mentoring sessions in the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Seafood Innovation Academy programme in Clonakilty.
The aim of the Academy is to strengthen the skill sets and capability in the seafood processing sector regarding new product development, technology transfer and business model innovation to directly assist the companies to bring their seafood product ideas from concept to market launch.
The Seafood Innovation Academy is an exciting new addition to the services provided in the BIM Seafood Development Centre as Donal Buckley, BIM’s Director of Business Development and Innovation, explains: ‘BIM has assisted more than 58 seafood companies through our Seafood Development Centre to develop more than 88 innovative added-value seafood products and processes. Our focus now is to facilitate our seafood companies to build the right company structures and capability to drive their own innovation agenda.
‘We have identified the need to attract new talent and skills, particularly in the areas of new product development, business development and marketing and the Seafood Innovation Academy will assist to address this deficit through our graduate and Masters in Seafood Innovation programmes with University College Cork, Waterford Institute of Technology and Letterkenny Institute of Technology.’
Expert speakers at the event included Dr Mairead Brady, Assistant Marketing Professor from Trinity College Dublin’s Business School, Zuilmah Wallis from Bord Bia’s Insights Team, and Brian English, managing director of Qupact discussed routes to market and new innovations in technology.
Head of Research and Development at Ballineen-based Carbery Ingredients, Áine Hallihan, walked through the company’s transition from commodity products into producing value-added products. She also spoke about how the culture of innovation works in a large company.