Dr Paul Flynn graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with BEng in Civil Engineering in 2001, and worked in the construction industry for almost a decade as a design engineer and project manager. Clients included IBM, Geodis and Mercedes-Benz. In 2006, Paul pivoted and began teaching mathematics at second level, and subsequently graduated from DCU in 2012 with a BA in English and History (first in class). Upon completion of a Professional Diploma in Education at NUI Galway (with first class honours), Paul then went on to complete a PhD in Education in 2016, also at NUI Galway. He is interested in the application of learning sciences through design thinking and new learning environments, and was attracted to the immersive nature of the AgInnovate programme, in particular the opportunity to identify and critically analyse potential new products and business opportunities in the agriculture domain. Paul, an experienced triathlete, still enjoys swimming and cycling.
Niamh Lynch is an expert in quality and risk management for the medtech and pharma industries. She has helped startups and Fortune 500 companies with effective risk-based quality systems, ensuring companies perform at their best through voice-of-the-customer feedback and the use of fully compliant and tailored quality systems. Niamh’s own business, Aversion, provides risk management solutions, training and consultancy to the life sciences sector. She has developed a risk assessment database that meets the requirements of EN ISO 14971:2012, with a free-to-use online tool for customers. Niamh obtained a BSc (honours) in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from the University of Hertfordshire in 1998, which provided the grounding in knowledge engineering and transitioning customer requirements into technical solutions leveraged during her nine years working in London. Niamh received an MSc in Neuropharmacology from NUI Galway in 2002, and subsequently worked with companies including Boston Scientific, Merit Medical and Johnson & Johnson. She completed another MSc in Software Engineering and Databases from NUI Galway in 2012, in order to deliver better solutions for use in quality systems. Niamh is now a AgInnovate Fellow, identifying problems in agriculture and generating tech solutions that will make people’s lives easier and better.
Ciara Shields is a results-focused marketing and international business development executive with a passion for startups. She has extensive experience of being part of a team at the early stages of a startup. She graduated in 2008 from Swansea Metropolitan University with a BA (honours) in Graphic Design, where she took a special interest in the entrepreneurship modules. After five years abroad, she was selected for Enterprise Ireland's Graduates for International Growth programme, and joined an Irish SME in London breaking into the UK market (SouthWestern, now part of Capita). During this time she also attained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Growth from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School. Ciara decided to return to Ireland again in 2014 to follow her dreams of entrepreneurship. She completed LEO’s “Lean Launch” workshops and upskilled in digital with DIT in 2016, attaining a first class honours BSc in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation, specialising in digital project management. She has gone on to manage the build of her ehealthcare product that is currently undergoing trials. Ciara is looking forward to the AgInnovate process and how it will allow her to impact on one of Ireland's biggest and most important industries: agriculture.