Munster Technological University to explore sustainable food production

Munster Technological University project receives funding to explore the role of STEM in sustainable food production in rural and suburban communities
March 6, 2024

MTU project receives funding to explore the role of STEM in sustainable food production in rural and suburban communities

Munster Technological University Kerry Campuses: A research project by MTU and UCD has received over €48,000 in funding through the SFI Discover Programme. A collaboration between the Department of Education, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Science Foundation Ireland, SFI Discover supports projects which encourage understanding of STEM. The purpose of the collaboration is to create greater public awareness of the impact of STEM on society and everyday life, generate opportunities for dialogue and encouraging diversity in STEM-related disciplines.

The MTU and UCD project, Re-imagining the Future – Environment, Sustainability, Health (REFRESH), will deliver a number of workshops designed to increase awareness of the public’s role and responsibility in contributing to solving environmental challenges. The project will have particular focus on people experiencing disadvantage in rural and suburban areas and will seek to explore STEM solutions to the problems we face in transitioning to sustainable food production practices. The project is one of 38 who has received funding.

Welcoming the announcement, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “SFI is very proud of the Discover Programme and we are delighted to support these 38 projects to expand the reach of STEM and broaden participation and engagement. This programme is a key part of our education and public engagement strategy. Increasing engagement among less represented voices in STEM is vital to providing the diverse talent needed to take on societal challenges and to shape our future in Ireland. SFI are passionate about removing barriers to participation in STEM and providing learners with opportunities to engage. I look forward to seeing the achievements of these projects over the coming months”.

Also commenting on the announcement was Dr. Peter Stuart, the project lead at MTU Kerry Campuses, who said: “We are delighted to have received this SFI Discover funding. This project continues from the previous successful SFI project REFOHCUS Reimagining The Future Covid One Health and Us, which proved very timely, as the Covid-19 pandemic progressed and people had more and more questions. REFRESH is equally well timed, given the environmental challenges society faces and the need for increased understanding of how we can work together for a more sustainable, healthy future for all”.

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