Executive Director Appointed at Innovation Academy UCD

Innovation Academy UCD has just appointed Barbara Diehl as Executive Director. A native German with Spanish roots, Barbara is a graduate of the universities of Heidelberg and Johns Hopkins where she was a Fulbright scholar and holds a Masters degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford.


Prior to taking up her position with the Academy, Barbara worked from 2008 to 2015 in the field of entrepreneurship and venture creation at the University of Oxford’s Entrepreneurship Centre.


Before Oxford, Barbara worked for the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, a science and innovation policy related think-tank in Berlin. From 2004-2006 she managed ESOF2006 in Munich, Europe’s biggest “Science in Society” Forum, which attracted over 50,000 attendees to its outreach programme.


Barbara joins the team at the Innovation Academy at a very exciting time. In the five years since it launched, the Innovation Academy has become an internationally recognised exemplar of best practice in the fields of entrepreneurship, nurturing creativity and innovation in education. Deep collaborations with a wide range of public and private stakeholders both nationally and internationally have enabled the Innovation Academy to develop new thinking in these fields.


Through her career, Barbara has worked at all three cornerstones of the innovation triangle, policy, academia and business, through which she has accumulated expertise in all aspects related to getting early-stage technologies through to market. Within the higher education setting her particular interests revolve around entrepreneurial learning and the powerful impact of entrepreneurship education as well as international trends in entrepreneurship and early-stage venture investment.


In her professional capacity, as Executive Director, Barbara regularly helps student teams refine their business plans and investment pitches. She is also very experienced in evaluating early-stage venture creation ideas and has served on the investment committees of various seed funds.


For further information on the Innovation Academy UCD visit www.innovators.ie.

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