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Minister Carroll MacNeill announces pioneering new Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Financial Technology & Innovation with Sustainable Finance Skillnet and Maynooth University

Today at the 2023 Global Government Fintech Lab event in Dublin, Minster of State at the Department of Finance, Dr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill announced that Sustainable Finance Skillnet will partner with Maynooth University to design and deliver a new world-leading Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Financial Technology & Innovation. 


This pioneering qualification is the result of collaborative efforts between Sustainable Finance Skillnet and Maynooth University to provide an industry-driven postgraduate qualification. The Governments Climate Action Plan recognises the need to ensure that the Irish financial services industry has the skills needed to its ambitious climate objective. The new qualification has been designed under the Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2023 and which prioritises actions to develop both sustainability and fintech. Over the past three years government support has assisted over 2,000 professional individuals in 605 companies to upskill in the area of sustainable finance through Skillnet.


Minister Jennifer Carroll MacNeill welcomed the launch saying:

“If we want to really deliver more sustainable finance we need to make sure we have the skills offering to match our ambitions for the climate agenda. This new course means our talented professionals can upskill even further to be able to compete at the cutting edge of financial services where sustainability and fintech merge.  

With the introduction of this programme by Sustainable Finance Skillnet and Maynooth University, we are putting in place the building blocks in place to provide a pipeline of skilled talent to secure the future competitiveness of the international financial services sector in Ireland. I wish everyone involved great success with this endeavour.”

Fintech and digital finance have grown in importance in Ireland and are becoming strong drivers of growth in employment. The development of relevant Sustainable Finance and Fintech courseware is one of ten key actions contained in Ireland’s Sustainable Finance Fintech Strategy. Overseen by the International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence and the Fintech and Payments association of Ireland (FPAI), the Sustainable Finance Fintech Strategy has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders across financial services, fintech, academia and government in order to leverage Ireland’s existing strength in financial technology to support the transition to a more sustainable economy. 


The innovative programme is being designed to develop the talent required to meet the rapidly changing financial needs and address the opportunities presented by the fintech and sustainability agendas. The scale of these opportunities extend  to the global market and part of the Sustainable Finance Fintech  Strategy objectives is to make Ireland an attractive place both for sustainable finance training as well as new product development. 


Dave Flynn, Director of Business Networks at Skillnet Ireland, the national talent development agency, said:


“At Skillnet Ireland our focus is on making sure that companies have a workforce with in-demand skills. Particularly this year, in the EU Year of Skills, we see the importance of green-skilled jobs for businesses to thrive and grow.  We are very pleased that our Sustainable Finance Skillnet is collaborating with academia to create this new qualification and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for her support here today as well as Maynooth University for all of the hard work that is going into bringing this pioneering postgraduate qualification to fruition. This type of talent development will contribute to the strategic plan of the Irish Government to meet the reduction in emissions we are aiming for by 2030.”


Mary Whitelaw, Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer AIB and Chair of the Sustainable Finance Skillnet Steering Committee said:


“We welcome the collaboration across both industry and academia which will produce this outstanding new qualification. Sustainable Finance Skillnet is very proud to collaborate with our partner Maynooth University in developing and delivering this course. The fintech services industry plays a critical role in providing solutions for the challenges the financial services industry is facing. We look forward to supporting these advances in 2023 and beyond”.


Professor Joseph Coughlan, Head of the School of Business at Maynooth University, stated: 

“Maynooth University’s School of Business creates impactful knowledge for our learners and collaborates with societal and industry partners on a broad range of business, societal and environmental issues. 

“The new Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Finance, Technology and Innovation, will give graduates the skills they need to play a leading role in the development of the fintech industry. With the support and advice of our partners in Sustainable Finance Skillnet, we look forward to providing a meaningful and modern programme that explores current trends in sustainable finance, financial technology, innovation, the environmental, social and sustainability risks facing businesses and the use of sustainable finance to address and alleviate these risks”. 

For further information please email



The Ireland for Finance Action Plan can be found here

Sustainable Finance Fintech Strategy – ISFCOE


The Climate Action Plan 2023  (CAP23), launched in December 2022, is the second annual update to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2019. This plan is the first to be prepared under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, and following the introduction of economy-wide carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings. Implementation of the Climate Action Plan will create jobs, new economic opportunities and protect people and the planet. You can view CAP23 and its annex of actions HERE or visit  



Sustainable Finance Skillnet is a national network working to develop skills and leadership capacity to advance ESG best practice across Ireland’s financial services sector. Sustainable Finance Skillnet is co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. 

To learn more about Sustainable Skillnet Ireland, please visit 



Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency. We are a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of businesses through enterprise-led talent development.   

Skillnet Ireland’s 72 Skillnet Business Networks are made up of interconnected businesses and sector experts within a particular sector or geographic region, established to provide upskilling and talent development programmes to businesses, for their employees.   

Skillnet Ireland partners with 57 industry bodies, supporting over 22,500 businesses and 86,500 trainees annually, through its 72 Skillnet Business Networks across most sectors and all regions in Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.    


Skillnet Business Network search tool:     

Facebook: @SkillnetIreland         
Twitter: @SkillnetIreland  



Maynooth University is ranked #1 in Ireland in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings 2022. Tracing its origins to the foundation of the Royal College of St Patrick in 1795, Maynooth University was formally established as an autonomous university in 1997. Maynooth is one of Ireland’s fastest growing universities with more than 15,000 students, including almost 1,800 taught postgraduates and 530 research postgraduates. 

Maynooth University 



The International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence works to position Ireland as a leader in sustainable finance. All activities are aligned with the government’s Ireland for Finance strategy and help to deliver on annual action plans. The International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence is responsible for coordinating the delivery of the national Sustainable Finance Roadmap launched at Climate Finance Week Ireland 2021.

Headquartered in Dublin, the Centre has been developed in partnership with Skillnet Ireland, the UNDP Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network, EU Climate-KIC and leading domestic and international private sector actors.

Twitter: @isfcoe 


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