Network founders

UCC is an award-winning institution with a history of independent thinking stretching back over 170 years. UCC is proud to be ranked in the top 2% of universities in the world. The University opened its gates to just 115 students in 1849 and today UCC has a student population of over 22,500. In April 2021, UCC has been ranked 8th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, placing it as Ireland’s leading university for its impact in working towards creating a sustainable future. UCC is Ireland's leading Research Institute and the first university in the world to be awarded the international Green Flag for environmental friendliness.

Joe Bogue is a Professor with the Department of Food Business and Development at Cork University Business School. His research interests include: market-oriented new product development, strategic food marketing, knowledge management and new product development, health-enhancing foods and functional foods, new product development strategies, food choice and consumer acceptance in relation to novel products, dairy supply chains and entrepreneurship.

Dr Lana Repar is a lecturer in Food Business with the Department of Food Business and Development, Cork University Business School. She teaches food marketing, entrepreneurship and digital media marketing in UCC, across numerous programmes. Her research interests include: food supply chain management, digital media marketing in the food industry, consumer behaviour, sustainability, entrepreneurship and business leadership.

Ulster University is Northern Ireland’s civic university and the second largest in Ireland. We have four campus across Northern Ireland and two branch campuses in London and Birmingham, with over 25,000 students. We have an international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement which has placed us as ranking in the top 150 universities worldwide who are under 50 years old, by the Times Higher Education, we are 1 of only 6 universities in the UK, with 100% of our research environment being deemed world leading and 100% of Ulster University’s business management, built environment and engineering research was judged to be world learning or internationally excellent for its impact. Ulster University is also one of the top 5 universities in the UK for world leading research in art and design, biomedical sciences and nursing and health sciences. Our teaching and research are also recognised as being of the highest academic quality. We are ranked number 1 for good teachers by the International Student Barometer and our alumni spans over 154 countries.

In particular Ulster University Business School (UUBS) has extensive expertise in SME development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and agri-food. UUBS has strong working relationships with policymakers in the food sector and business development agencies, including representatives from Government Departments and other agencies for economic development and agriculture/rural economy. Our Food and Drink Business Development Centre provides sector specific support through teaching/research activities.

Staff work with the food industry on a range of large multi-partner/cross-country funded projects, e.g. safefood and the Food Standards Agency on food retail promotions. Our staff are actively involved in research to help improve the competitive position of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink industry. With access to a range of data science tools, the centre provides data-led insights to better understand today’s consumer. Using market intelligence, sensory analysis, and big data the centre specialises in a data driven approach to innovation to help businesses better understand the needs of their customer. More recently, the centre has invested in new technologies to better understand consumer behaviour and retail design. The creation of the Consumer Insight Lab is the only Virtual Reality Convenience store experience on the island of Ireland.

Barry Quinn is Professor of Retail Marketing at the Ulster University Business School. His areas of expertise include SME growth and innovation in various sectors, including food and retail. He has published widely in journals such as Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, International Marketing Review, and European Journal of Marketing. He has worked closely with SMEs on several funded European projects such as LOCFOOD (Local Food as an Engine for Local Business) that have looked at policy support and business development needs.

Kristel Miller is a senior lecturer in Strategy at Ulster University. Her research focuses on the areas of business models, innovation management, university-industry knowledge transfer, technology commercialization and competitiveness. She has presented her work in various international conferences and published in internationally recognised journals such as Journal of Business Research, Technovation, Production Planning and Control, Journal of Production Economics and Studies in Higher Education. Kristel is the co-editor in chief of the Irish Journal of Management and is a member of Innovation Caucus (ESRC and Innovate UK). She also helps manage the special issue track on business models within the European Academy of Management (EURAM) conference. Kristel also has a keen interest in helping SMEs and works with organisations to help them grow.

Cranfield University is the only wholly postgraduate university in the UK, specialising in education and research in science, engineering, technology, and management. Cranfield School of Management is one of the oldest business schools in Europe and one of an elite group of schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditation of AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. The school ranked Top 10 in the UK and 32nd in Europe in the Financial Times European Business Schools. The university is globally recognised for the excellence in leadership devleopment and for the paoerful industrial links and real-world focus.

Miying Yang is Reader in Sustainability at the School of Management at Cranfield University. She holds a PhD degree from Centre for Industrial Sustainability, University of Cambridge (2011-2015), worked at Cranfield University (2016) as Resarch Fewllow, and University of Exeter as a Lecturer (2017-2021) and subsequently Senior Lecturer (2021). Her work focuses on how to make manufacturing and supply chain more sustainable and circular through digitalisation and business model innovation. She received five research awards from EPSRC, ESRC, STFC and Royal Society, published over 20 academics papers and won two Best Paper Awards in international conferences. She has developed Sustainable Value Analysis Tool to help over 100 firms identify their sustainable value opportunities.

DkIT is the focal point for higher education and research on the Belfast-Dublin corridor, serving the North Leinster, South Ulster region. Since 2016, DkIT has earned more than €15M in research funding, making it one of the leading Institutes of Technology in Ireland in terms of research performance. DkIT has been granted the HR Excellence in Research award in recognition of its commitment to creating an attractive, supportive and stimulating environment in which to carry out research. Our research makes a vital contribution to the economic, social and cultural life of the North East of Ireland and beyond.

Colette Henry is a Professor and Head of Department of Business Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland. She is also an adjunct Professor within the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Her previous roles include Adjunct Professor at UiT- The Arctic University of Norway; Norbrook Professor of Business & Enterprise at the Royal Veterinary College, London; President of the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, UK, and Head of School of Business & Humanities, DkIT. She chairs the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research Network (Global WEP) and is Founder and Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship. She has published on entrepreneurship education, gender, the creative industries and veterinary/rural business, with over 50 journal articles and 14 books. Colette also hosted the Royal Irish Academy’s ‘Rural Conversations Workshop’ in Dundalk in 2019. In 2015 she received the Diana International Research Project Trailblazer Award, and in 2017 received the Sten K Johnson European Entrepreneurship Education Award from Lund University, Sweden. Colette is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Higher Education Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Jennifer Fegan completed her PhD at the Ulster Business School, Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Her research interests are in the development of local and international food supply chains, and the marketing of premium Irish food. Jennifer currently works as a lecturer in the School of Business and Humanities in Dundalk Institute of Technology, teaching Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Information Systems. She has previously worked in various economic and rural development agencies in both Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

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