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The Innovation Challenge involves external organisations (companies, charities, public bodies etc.) posing various challenges to teams of multidisciplinary students who then work in multi-disciplinary teams to provide insights, propose/ develop solutions and ultimately present a bespoke and tangible plan that sets out how the challenges and opportunities could be addressed. 

The Innovation Challenge aims;

  • To foster the engagement of all MTU students with innovation & entrepreneurship education
  • To create and develop institute/industry relationships

To promote the innovation eco system within MTU and the innovation skillset of MTU students

Why is this project important?

The innovation challenge addresses the strategic goals of both the Action Plan for Education 2019 (Department of Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science) and the Statement of Strategy published by the Department of Further & Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science.

National and international reports emphasise the importance of creativity and entrepreneurial traits among graduates. The World Economic Forum report “Future of Jobs”, reveals that, over the past five years, critical thinking and creativity have climbed up to the top of the table in terms of skills required of current and future employees.

The innovation challenge contributes to MTU’s mission “to lead change and, through education, empower people for a successful future in a globalized world” and vision “to lead transformation through education.”

The Innovation Challenge also promotes the teaching and learning enhancement within and across disciplines which is one of the T&L forum’s strategic aims. (National Forum Strategy 2019-2021: Leading Enhancement and Innovation in Teaching and Learning)

What will be delivered or different at the end of this SATLE project?

At present, the majority of MTU students do not have the opportunity to undertake focused challenge-based innovation / entrepreneurship modules. The principal objective of this proposal is to provide a means of addressing this lack of opportunity by running the Innovation Challenge as a newly generated 5-credit module.

 We have already laid the groundwork for this proposal by running the Innovation Challenge on an informal basis over the last three years and this year more than 60 students, from both campuses, have signed up for the Innovation Challenge. We anticipate that this number will grow as the success of the Innovation Challenge becomes more widely known among the MTU student body. The potential to earn 5 credits for completing the Innovation Challenge would also be very appealing to students.

The Innovation Challenge will provide our external partners (this year we have nine external partners) with the opportunity to recruit groups of highly motivated students from diverse programmes to examine an issue from some aspect of their business. To date, our external partners have come from diverse areas such as financial services, disability service provision, manufacturing industry, energy technology and the public service. Positive engagement by MTU with the wider business community has significant benefits to the students, staff, our partner industries and, by extension, the wider region. This proposed initiative would allow us to significantly strengthen and broaden this engagement.  

We have already had evidence of impact of the Innovation Challenge with the recent announcement that one of our partner companies, Clearstream, has been awarded the CIPD Human Resource award. Clearstream received the award for ACTIVATE, their new Health & Wellbeing Programme. The idea and much of the content for ACTIVATE was created by students taking part in the 2020 Innovation Challenge. 

Project news

  • Student testimonials for the innovation challenge: https://youtu.be/4fQ0gDvB8Ro
  • The following external partners have agreed to participate in the 2022 innovation challenge:
    • Pepsi
    • Crann Centre
    • WAZP
    • Navy
    • Adam Audio
    • Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland
    • Clearstream
    • Boston Scientific
    • EirData
  • Munster Technological University are delighted to announce that Endicott College USA students will be taking part in The Innovation Challenge 2022. This is a fantastic opportunity for students in both colleges to network with one another as well as the MTU Staff and companies involved! As well as this, all students receive a digital badge, and there is €2,000 prize money up for grabs.

Who are the Team Members?


Clearstream Cork 



Department: Head, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences

MTU Tralee Campus 

Email: Eilish.Broderick@mtu.ie


Department: Computer Science

MTU Cork campus 

Email: Ignacio.Castineiras@mtu.ie


Department:  Mechanical & Biomedical Manufacturing Engineering

MTU Cork campus 

Email: Paul.Keane@mtu.ie


Department:  Mechanical & Biomedical Manufacturing Engineering

MTU Cork campus 

Email: Hugh.ODonnell@mtu.ie


Innovation & Enterprise Office

MTU Cork campus 

Email: Carole.OLeary@mtu.ie


MTU Cork Enterprise Intern

Email: Clionadh.Fahy@mtu.ie


Rubicon MTU

Email: Paul.Healy@mtu.ie


Innovation & Enterprise Office

MTU Cork campus

Email: AnnMarie.Barrett@mtu.ie


Cleastream Cork (recent MTU graduate) 


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