Teagasc Case Study

Teagasc, the leading organisation in agriculture and food research in Ireland, has worked in partnership with Tyndall for a number of years on ICT solutions for the agricultural sector.

In 2014, the relationship was placed on a more formal footing with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to explore ways to adapt sensor technologies to the agricultural environment.

The MOU also includes co-supervising PhD students and the placement of fulltime Teagasc researchers in Tyndall. The MOU is seen as a milestone in a long-term partnership, opening possibilities for Teagasc and Tyndall to collaborate on projects into the future.

The research thus far has resulted in the development of a series of on-farm diagnostic sensor devices, for early diagnosis of Liver Fluke and the respiratory condition IBR, both of which can have devastating consequences.

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc is excited by the progression and future potential of the collaborative research. “Precision agriculture is the buzz phrase of the moment. Internationally the attention is on optimal cereal management, but at Teagasc we see huge potential to apply the principles of precision agriculture, with Tyndall as our partner, to our unique pasture based niche. Such pioneering work would complement Ireland’s already strong reputation in the marketplace for sustainability and quality.”

Diagnostic tools are hugely important in the area of animal health. They are critical not only to the welfare of animals, but also to the realisation of the economic potential of Ireland’s livestock sector.

Rapid, easy, on-farm detection is what is needed by the agricultural sector and the feedback from early trials of the sensor devices created at Tyndall has been extremely positive.

“With milk quotas abolished, and significant expansion underway in the dairy sector, the quality of the milk leaving Ireland has to be beyond question. Of critical importance is the need to ensure that there are no undesirable residues present in the milk. Within this context the devices developed by Tyndall scientists are invaluable,” said Boyle.


From left: Alan O’Riordan, Tyndall Institute; Riona Sayers, Teagasc and Kieran Drain, Tyndall Institute CEO, at the launch of AgriSense in Cork. photograph: daragh mcsweeney/provision

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