30 of Ireland’s best young scientists head to camp

27 Feb 2017

From left: Alanna Slater, Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonbá, Limerick; David Hamilton, Ardscoil Rís, Limerick; Khadija Gull, Loreto College, Balbriggan; Maeve Shaw, Coláiste Pobail, Kilkenny; and Daniel Carroll, Coláiste Choilm, Offaly. Image: Colm Mahady/Fennells

A selection of the best entrants at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition are taking part in a tailored boot camp at UCD.

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp is underway at NovaUCD, with 30 of this year’s best entrants developing how some of their exhibition entries can be turned into viable businesses.

The four-day project sees students from 10 counties across the island of Ireland converge in a mentoring and skills programme.

Business skills such as patenting, development, sales and marketing will be worked on, with the programme acting as a way of capitalising on the many great projects that emerged from the exhibition.

The six projects that will be worked on at the boot camp are:

  • Foal sickness containment and prevention: Investigating foal sickness, containment and prevention, making a sensor to detect early illness.
  • LifeStats: An IoT network that aims to augment people’s lives using statistics, and provide cost-effective contextual advertising for local businesses without the need for user tracking.
  • MiContact: An app based on applied behaviour analysis to enhance early-intervention programmes and encourage children with autism to make eye contact.
  • Ergonomic Planter: A device that will improve planting in developing countries by allowing users to plant with increased safety, consistency and speed, using an ergonomically designed portable planter.
  • ARIA or Manual?: Statistical analysis of a large sample of results from diabetic retinal screening, graded manually by humans and two different automated software programs.
  • Unlicensed to Kill: A device to prevent unlicensed drivers from endangering others on our roads by not being able to even start a car without a valid licence.

“Each year, the brightest young minds in the country walk through the doors of the RDS for the [exhibition], many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs with excellent business ideas, but who are simply lacking the knowledge and skills to take their project ideas to the next stage,” said Shay Walsh, MD of BT Ireland.

“The boot camp equips these students with the tools and more importantly, the confidence, to hopefully make the leap into business, and we are so proud to be able to play a part in helping these young people to realise their potential.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic