Invest NI helps teacher fly high with nest deterrent innovation
Birds will be deterred from flights of fancy leading to nest-building in eaves of houses thanks to a device created by a Co Armagh technology teacher.
James McGoldrick created NestDivert to prevent birds - such as house martins - from building nests in the eaves of properties, with help from Invest NI through a so-called 'innovation voucher'.
The simple device is made of clear transparent acrylic, and has been designed not to harm the animals.
It stops the birds from forming nests thanks to right angle protruding fingers, which disrupt the bird's flight path, and stops anything from sticking to it.
The man behind the idea said it is now being sold online following high demand at garden centres and hardware store.
Mr McGoldrick said his "training and experience as a technology teacher" had given him 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," he said.
"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."
He said with more than 120,000 homes in rural areas across Northern Ireland, he was confident of big sales, as well as the product having "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," he said.
"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. This has enabled me to expand my market share and develop export potential."
Invest NI's Olive Hill said the project was an excellent example of how the scheme, which gives up to £4,000 for business development, "encourages new ideas".
"The scheme enables the innovators to access expert advice to see if their ideas can be developed into commercially viable products," she said. "The voucher scheme is designed to promote innovation."