Irish Students’ Water Conservation Products Win Global Entrepreneurship Award

Irish Students’ Water Conservation Products Win Global Entrepreneurship Award

Students from Tullamore College, Co. Offaly beat off competition from Nigeria, South Africa and the USA in a final round of judging to win the top award in the Social Enterprise Business category of the SAGE World Cup 2014!

 

Moscow, 11th August 2014: Students from Tullamore College, Co. Offaly beat off competition from Nigeria, South Africa and the USA in a final round of judging to win the top award in the Social Enterprise Business category of the SAGE World Cup 2014 (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship). Delegations from 16 countries arrived in Russia to compete at the event which has been taking place in Moscow from 8th August. The Irish student’s water conservation initiative was announced as the global category winner during the Awards Ceremony yesterday evening at which Ndaba Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela, delivered the keynote address.

The Young Social Innovators’ team developed their social enterprise business in an effort to tackle the global issue of water shortage. They created two innovative products in their fight to reduce national and international water wastage which they have recently begun marketing and selling to farms, homes and businesses.

Their Water Leak Detection System for domestic, industrial and agricultural use notifies the land owner or occupier that a leak is present and identifies the source of the problem so that leaks do not go unnoticed for large periods of time.

Their ‘Aqua Cica’ shower head encourages users to reduce water wastage by taking shorter showers. The integrated timed LED lights follow a traffic light system of green, amber and red with the shower head changing colour the longer the user has been in the shower.

The team estimate they are currently saving almost 22million litres of water per year as well as offering financial savings for consumers. They are hoping to expand their business within Ireland and beyond in the coming year.

The Transition Year students participated in the Young Social Innovators’ Action Programme 2014 and their project ‘Greener Globe’ recently won the all-Ireland YSI Award for the Making Our World Greener Challenge.  The team were also given access to finance through the YSI Social Innovation Fund following a successful pitch at the YSI Den in March 2014. Through the YSI Den, which is supported by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation, teams can pitch for funding and/or mentorship to sustain social innovation ideas. It was through this pitching process that the Tullamore students were selected by Young Social Innovators, the national coordinating host for SAGE, as the Irish entrants to the SAGE World Cup.

Speaking after the award announcement Cian Fogarty, a member of the winning team said, “We are so proud to be representing Ireland at the SAGE World Cup and are delighted to be bringing home the trophy. We believe we can make a real difference and are looking forward to developing our business in Ireland and beyond. We’d like to thank our Principal and everyone in Tullamore College who supported us especially our fantastic teacher and YSI Guide, Emma Coyne who has supported us every step of the way.”

Rachel Collier, CEO, YSI who was in attendance at the event, said, “Young people are demonstrating that they have the ideas, the passion and the potential required to address some of today’s most pressing social issues. Given the right opportunities and platforms young people can realise that potential and become powerful catalysts for social change.  Watching these YSI students excel on a global stage makes me very proud. I congratulate them and their wonderful achievement and I look forward to seeing their enterprise develop in the coming years.”

The team won $2,000 as part of their global award. They were accompanied to Moscow by their teacher and YSI Guide, Emma Coyne.

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