Techy Solution to Nesting Problems
Technology teacher James McGoldrick has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop NestDivert, an innovative device that deters birds, such as house martins, from building nests in the eaves of buildings, particularly in rural areas.
Armagh-based Mr McGoldrick received support from Invest NI through an Innovation Voucher which helped in the design and manufacture of the device. Specifically designed not to harm birds, the device prevents them from building nests under soffits and other parts of buildings.
Explaining how the new device works, Mr McGoldrick said: “The product is manufactured from clear transparent acrylic and can be secured in place under the soffit of a house or commercial premises using clear adhesive tape. It has been shaped to prevent birds from landing and starting to build their nests. The device is also invisible to the eye, both weather and UV proof, environmentally friendly and most importantly ethically approved.
“My training and experience as a technology teacher has given me a good platform to develop an effective design solution. The Invest NI Innovation Voucher helped me take the initial prototype to the next step by modifying the original design and providing a solution for batch and mass production. This enabled me to access the design expertise and manufacturing experience of the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) at Queen’s University.
“The NITC team helped to transform the initial design into a prototype ready for manufacture and for a marketplace with huge potential. House martins nesting in buildings is a serious problem particularly in rural communities. In Northern Ireland, for example, there are over 120,000 dwellings in rural areas and around 600,000 in the Republic. I am confident, therefore, that the product has significant export potential.
“I initially started off by selling NestDivert to local garden centres and hardware stores but due to high demand, and not to miss out on the wider market, I am now selling online. This has enabled me to expand my market share and develop export potential.
“I would have experienced difficultly doing this on my own, but through the Invest NI innovation voucher scheme I have been able to pursue my aspiration and make my idea become a reality,” he added.
Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Solutions, said: “This project is an excellent example of how our Innovation Voucher scheme encourages new ideas. The scheme enables the innovators to access expert advice to see if their ideas can be developed into commercially viable products.
“The voucher scheme is designed to promote innovation within small firms and by individuals, providing funding to cover the costs of expert advice from universities and further education colleges.
“The scheme is a key element in Invest NI’s strategic focus to accelerate investment in innovation. In doing this we will strengthen Northern Ireland’s business base and enhance the competitiveness of smaller entrepreneurial companies here,” added Mrs Hill.