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Wednesday 12 December 2018

How this young entrepreneur was a double winner for his ideas

 

Bryan Davis from Solar Pump Solutions was the Young Innovator and Overall Innovation Arena awards winner. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Bryan Davis from Solar Pump Solutions was the Young Innovator and Overall Innovation Arena awards winner. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Liam O'Keefe, Inventor of the Tyre2tyre connection. Pictured at the Innovations section at the Ploughing Championships. Photo: Gerry Mooney
The Keenan self propelled feeder pictured at the Innovations section at the Ploughing Championships. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Chris McCullough

They say farmers are the best at solving problems other farmers encounter in their everyday work and that was certainly proven by some of the new innovations exhibited at the National Ploughing Championships in September.

A total of 69 Irish companies were picked from 150 entries to exhibit their brainwaves in the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena at the three-day event under the watchful eyes of potential customers from all around the world.

Of these, eight were spinout research projects, 11 were established companies and 45 were new start-up entrepreneurial led exhibits. The total prize fund this year was in excess of €70,000 including a top prize worth over €15,000 for the most innovative start-up.

Entries varied from a solar powered water pumping system to a water treatment machine that reduces the need for antibiotics in poultry flocks.

Some of them made the grade and won awards, while others that didn't, received the publicity they need to get on the road to success.

The overall award went to Solar Pump Solutions founded by Bryan Davis who also picked up the young innovator award.

The company based in Co Tipperary provides solar powered water pumping systems across Ireland and the world. Their pumps can operate in any remote location, pumping water at high pressure without needing access to electricity.

Sensor device

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Winning the Agri-Engineering Start-Up category was Remote Signals Ltd from Limerick that has developed a simple sensor device that can be quickly attached to any gate or shed door on a farm.

If someone was to open that door the farmer receives a message through his/her phone to alert them of an intruder.

The runner up in this category, Agrify Solutions Limited, has designed a unique yet simple system of inflating tyres on tractors, machinery or cars that have a slow puncture.

Designed by Cork dairy farmer Liam O'Keeffe, Tyre2Tyre is a novel system that attaches a hose with two specially designed valves onto a deflated tyre and onto its partner on the same axle.

No air can be lost when using this special tool and it was designed to pull farmers out of a hole when they go to a tractor or machine that has developed a slow puncture.

Company director Ger O'Keeffe said: "It can be a major problem when a farmer finds a tyre deflated overnight from a slow puncture so we came up with this system that draws air from a fully inflated tyre and transfers it to the deflated one.

"When both tyres reach a balanced pressure the air stops moving between the tyres allowing the farmer to move the tractor or machine and have the tyre properly looked at," he said.

Keenan's self-propelled MechFiber 345SP diet feeder with InTouch controller device won the Agri-Engineering Large Established Company award while Samco Agricultural Manufacturing Ltd won the award in the Agri-Engineering SME category with its Punch Hole Film Layer and Seeder.

It consolidates the soil, lays the film and finally accurately sows the seed using the ingenious Punch Wheel Unit ensuring precise sowing depth and spacing of seeds. Other winners were:

Agri-Technology Start-Up: OneClick Accounts;

Agri-Technology Established Company: Equilume;

Agri-Environmental: Ozone Industries;

Research Emerging from Third-Level: DIT Hothouse.


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