Trinity College Dublin: New €3.7 million project will enable systemic adaptation to decarbonised economy and sustainable living

Researchers from Trinity are co-leading a new €3.7 million project to enable the innovative and systemic adaptation of enterprise and society to a decarbonised economy and sustainable living.

This Human Capital Initiative project – Ireland’s Knowledge Centre for Carbon and Climate (IKC3) – brings together national and international leaders in education, innovation and entrepreneurship and includes researchers, industry partners, and local government authorities.

According to the World Economic Forum, the skills required to perform most roles will change by 42% on average by 2022, with new and emerging roles and professions. At this level of disruption, access to skills and talent is one of the top three business threats for CEOs globally. This is particularly urgent in the context of the climate challenge and transition to a low carbon economy.

Quentin Crowley, Associate Professor in Geology and Director of the Trinity Centre for the Environment, is the project lead at Trinity. He said:

“Over the next three years, our consortium will establish a new national Centre to enable innovation and systems transformation, thereby contributing to a decarbonised economy and a more sustainable society.

“This is a great opportunity for us to empower and motivate students, industry partners, and general society to generate their own ideas, innovations and solutions to tackle the world’s increasingly numerous climate change and sustainability challenges.”

The IKC3 consortium will develop three core learning pathways drawing from the international best practice of EIT Climate-KIC and the Green Technologies Program. These are: Enterprise Skills and Talent for the transition to the low carbon economy (lifelong learning); Graduate formation and the workplace of the future (climate leadership journey); and Regional Experiential Learning Environments (deep learning demonstrations).

Professor Crowley has started recruitment for the climate leadership journey pathway. Open to EU-based graduates, postgraduate students, or early-career professionals this activity is running in collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC, linking the project with a broader innovation ecosystem across the region.

Helen Sheridan, Associate Professor in Pharmacy at Trinity, is another collaborator on the project, specialising in natural products. She said:

“In the NatPro Centre we focus on education, innovation, sustainable use and repurposing of natural products across sectors.

“Within the consortium we will participate in needs assessment and resource mapping within the sector, as well as creating guidelines for best practice. We will design and deliver educational content and specific knowledge in the area of natural products from discovery to market, to empower communities to engage and innovate in the sector in the transition to a greener, circular bio-economy.”

In addition to Professor Quentin Crowley and Helen Sheridan at Trinity, Dr Helena McMahon from Munster Technological University is the overall project lead and Professor Nick Holden is institutional lead at University College Dublin.

Some of the industry partners involved include Carbery Group, Kerry Group, Devenish, Coillte, and Gas Networks Ireland.

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