First-Time R&D Leads to New Products and New Business for Pearson-NI

Mid-Ulster based family business, Pearson-NI (Pearson), has developed a new automated system to help prevent bovine mastitis, with R&D support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Pearson supplies milking solutions to customers in the Dairy/Agricultural sector. The company decided to undertake R&D for the first time to develop a new automated system for spraying teats that could be retrofitted to existing milking systems.

This innovative approach has opened up a whole new market for the business which has recently sold the new product to two new customers in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), worth nearly €300,000.

Andrew Brodison from Pearson said: “We wanted to develop our own range of products to sell through existing networks as well as grow our customer base in Rol and GB.

“Our new Robotic Automated Teat Sprayer will integrate with current robotic milking systems to spray the teat of the cow immediately post milking. This will reduce the amount of manual labour required in current practices, as well as being more effective at removing bacteria than current systems.

“The R&D process was completely new to us and we wouldn’t have been able to do it and get our product to market as quickly without the support of Invest NI. We are really hopeful that more companies will realise the benefits of this new system. We are also already looking into developing another new product for a different sector.”

Kevin McCann, Director of R&D, Invest NI said: “Invest NI is specifically trying to encourage more small and medium sized businesses to invest in R&D, helping them to develop their first innovative product that will enable them to generate additional export sales.

“Pearson is a perfect example of how innovation through R&D is possible for a small business, and how it can lead to winning new orders. With our help the company was able to access design and consultancy advice to develop the product and get it to market in a short space of time.”

Invest NI has offered Pearson £44,964 of support towards the R&D project. Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.