Dart Mountain Cheese is a traditional Northern Ireland cheese maker based in the Sperrin Mountains, Co. Derry. Established in June 2011, the owner, Julie Hickey has been developing their cheese ranges with her 18 years’ experience in the food industry for over as both a chef and a restaurant owner.
Julie identified a gap in the market and wished to exploit this opportunity through the development of an innovative educational tool, to promote healthy living to introduce primary and secondary school children to the dairy farming industry, representing an additional revenue stream.
Julie was keen to develop the product herself, with her vast insight and knowledge in the cheese making industry, promoting healthy living and the importance of local produce, she wanted to deliver the information in an innovate teaching style combined with traditional learning styles and presented in an accessible format. However, Julie lacked the skills in video production and editing in order to realise her vision.
The North West Regional College (NWRC) supported Julie through the Innovate US programme, funded by Department for the Economy (DfE), which equated to 30 hours of mentoring support from Aaron McKeever, NWRC Creative and Digital Media Consultant to develop and deliver this innovative solution.
The mentoring support focused on upskilling Julie in a variety of specific areas of editing software including audio, animation and character design whilst improving her understanding and knowledge of the intricate rendering processes, manipulating elements and libraries for future adaptation and exploring interactive features.
The main deliverable achieved was the successful upskilling of Julie who through the Innovate US programme gained the necessary ability to be able to realise her vision. Julie developed an educational programming tool combining unique animations with informative content that can be rolled out to schools across Northern Ireland and has given her a firm foundation to be and confidence to create further commercially viable educational tools.