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World Hunger issues tackled at the 9th BT Business Bootcamp

Transition Year and 5th year students crowned winners for their field study to help with world hungers.

A group of enterprising school students gathered last week for the 9th BT Business Bootcamp. Four students from Kildare, Kerry, Limerick and Cork were crowned overall winners for their project titled “Feeding the world by 2050; The effects of pseudomonas flouorescens on barley crop yield.”

The BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp was established in 2010 by BT and is delivered jointly with the innovation team of UCD Research and Innovation on an annual basis to give students the commercialisation skills they need to develop their BT Young Scientist project ideas.

While the Business Bootcamp was cut a day short due to Storm Emma, all the groups got an opportunity to present their projects to a judging panel of accomplished business professionals. The winning group demonstrated how their idea could improve global food security and feed the world by 2050.

Emilie Donaghy, a TY student from St Wolstan’s Community School, Kildare; Oran O’Donoghue, a 5th Year student from Coláiste Bhréanainn in Kerry; Jack Murtagh, a 5th Year student from Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick;  and Daragh Twomey, a TY student from Colaiste Treasa in Cork were crowned ‘Best Group’ winners. The ‘Best Individual’ award was presented to Sara Rafter, a 5th year student from Wesley College, Dublin.

The winning project was one that originated from this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition where some of the students had carried out a field study to increase food production in a sustainable manner to help with world hunger. In an attempt to improve Global food security, this study focuses on the effects of a manipulated plant microbiome on crop yield and more specifically, the effect of Pseudomonas fluorescens L321 on Barley germination, growth and kernel production. They treated barley with a specific strain of bacteria and found it increased the yield of varieties of the crop, especially barley.

Congratulating all the participants, Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, said, “This week we saw some of the country’s brightest young minds come together at the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp. The programme aims to help students’ bridge the gap between education and business and bring their inventions to market and we have certainly seen this come to life over the past few days.

We developed the Bootcamp as an extension to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition to introduce business mentoring to students, hopefully encouraging them to take their ideas to the next level. We wanted to introduce them to the kind of commercialisation skills that they could carry forward into their careers and lives.”

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