Limerick brothers Jack and Nick Cotter have won the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2019, sponsored by Siemens, for their lamb handling system, the Cotter Crate.
Jack Cotter (21), studying Process and Management Engineering at Limerick Institute of Technology, and Nick (18), a first-year student of Law and Business at UCC, devised the system for quick, safe, easy and accurate administration of vaccines, doses and drenches to lambs from three weeks old.
It restrains lambs, allowing the farmer to administer multiple treatments quickly and accurately. The lamb is held under its own weight, so there isn’t too much or too little pressure, and the lamb stays calm and comfortable.
The crate was first developed for use on the brothers’ home farm at Abbeyfeale. They have estimated that when using the crate, a farmer can administer one dose to 400 lambs an hour, or four treatments to 200 lambs per hour.
Therefore, it saves labour, time, and cost, when compared with current methods.
The crate is due to be available on the market in 2020 (see www.cottercrate.com).
It was also the best agri- engineering startup and best overall startup in the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards 2019. And Nick and Jack Cotter will next join Ireland’s best engineering leaders and teams on November 15 in the 2019 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, in association with ESB.
The brothers are proven young entrepreneurs, starting their first business, Cotter Bros Firewood, seven years ago. It has won awards such as the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Award.
They launched their Cotter Organic Lamb this year.