Dr Jean Kennedy, Head of Research Resources with international agri- technology company Devenish, has joined Queen’s University Belfast as Entrepreneur in Residence.
Having been awarded the prestigious residency from scientific fellowship The Royal Society, Dr Kennedy will lead pioneering research within the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s.
Every year, the Royal Society, a fellowship of many of the world’s most renowned scientists, awards academic residencies to a select number of scientists and entrepreneurs through its Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) scheme. Dr Kennedy is the sole entrepreneur in Northern Ireland to be awarded the accolade.
Aimed at increasing UK universities’ knowledge of cutting-edge industrial science, research and innovation, the two-year scheme gives highly experienced industrial scientists and entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend one day a week within a university developing a bespoke project.
The recipients have been selected to help UK institutions turn world-leading research into commercial success.
The scheme also aims to address skills gaps in industries like energy, transportation and data science by helping to foster an entrepreneurial culture within universities and develop curricula that produce industry-ready graduates.
Dr Kennedy will build on her experience of cutting-edge industrial science, research and innovation through the development of a programme called ‘Adding Value to Food – From Soil to Society’ and will deliver lectures to students on the topic during this time.
Speaking about the opportunity, Dr Kennedy said: “It is a true honour to be accepted into the EiR Scheme by the Royal Society. This will allow me, on behalf of Devenish, to carry out hugely valuable research into the vastly important area of One Health – From Soil to Society, alongside our partners at world-class global research institute, the IGFS at Queen’s.
“Connections between academia and industry are crucial in helping solve some of the world’s greatest challenges; in this case, how we can best trace and measure the authenticity of the food our growing population consumes,” Dr Kennedy said.
Professor Nigel Scollan, Director of Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast, added: “I am delighted to welcome Dr Kennedy as Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence to IGFS. This is a fantastic opportunity to extend and accelerate engagement in research between industry and researchers in IGFS, addressing some of the big challenges in society under the One Health initiative.”
Dame Sue Ion, Chair of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation committee at The Royal Society, said: “The aim of the EiR scheme is to expose university staff and students to state-of-the-art industrial research and development and the scientific challenges faced by industry, as well as providing support and advice around nurturing innovation and translating research.”
“I congratulate Dr Kennedy for being accepted onto this year’s EiR scheme.”