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University of Galway unveils President’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to foster student excellence

December 4, 2023

University of Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh has launched the newly introduced President’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that recognises and celebrates the achievements of University of Galway students in the realms of entrepreneurship and innovation.

It was officially launched as he formally opened the IdeasLab Space on campus, marking the institution’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among its student body. IdeasLab is University of Galway’s student innovation hub. It is an open collaborative space designed to enable students to explore ideas and personalise their entrepreneurial and innovative skillset to succeed in the complex world beyond university.

The award features three tiers of achievement, namely Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Students who complete one IdeasLab programme during their degree are eligible for the Bronze tier, while those who successfully complete two programmes earn the Silver tier. The highest honour, the Gold tier, is reserved for students who undertake more than two programmes or complete the IdeasLab’s summer incubator programme ‘Start100’.

The President’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been designed to acknowledge the pivotal role that student-driven innovation and entrepreneurship play in shaping Ireland’s future. By providing a structured framework for the development of these skills, the University aims to enhance the overall student experience and prepare its graduates for industry.

“We believe that students who develop innovative thinking and entrepreneurial skills play a crucial role in enriching their communities, advancing knowledge, and building a good society,” said Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh. “The President’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship reflects our commitment to cultivating our students’ capacities to become agents and architects of positive change and aligns with our values and our commitment to investing in the social, economic and intellectual development of our communities, nationally and internationally.”

The formal opening of the IdeasLab Space symbolises the University’s dedication to creating an environment that nurtures creativity, collaboration, and transformative ideas. This space is a vibrant hub where students can bring their innovative concepts to life, collaborate with like-minded peers, and receive mentorship from industry experts.

Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development stated that ‘Today is a milestone moment for innovation in our university as we formally launch our student innovation space IdeasLab and our new President’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  The space and new awards programme demonstrate our commitment to empowering students as catalysts for positive change and equip them with the skills and competences to succeed in their futures’.  For more information go to www.universityofgalway.ie/ideaslab.

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