Photo by Brendan Lodge. UCOL Youth Innovation Award winner Ryan Adams with UCOL Deputy Chief Executive Strategy, Clare Crawley.
Manawatu 12 year old, Ryan Adams is now working on taking his award winning dairy invention to market.
Ryan’s invention – a milking cups cleaning system – recently won the UCOL Youth Innovation Award at the inaugural Innovate Manawatu awards.
His milking cups cleaning system was inspired by his dairy farmer uncle who regularly complained about the task. Ryan’s system is based on a pair of gloves fitted to a hose, controlling the flow of water through them by wrist movement. “It would save time and make the job easier for farmer,” Ryan says.
The prototype made for a school science fair impressed his Whakarongo School teachers, including Principal Jaco Broodryk who encouraged him to enter the awards.
Since coming up with the concept, Ryan has expanded his original plans, made prototypes and written a business plan. “It’s a lot harder than just coming up with an idea.” He is now working with a business mentor on ways to make the invention become a reality.
UCOL Deputy Chief Executive Clare Crawley says she was impressed with Ryan’s approach to a problem, finding an effective solution. “He was methodical in his testing and evaluation of his concept. He understood the process of taking a concept beyond the initial bright idea and was very passionate about it,” she says. “He also showed confidence belying his young age, during his presentation to the judges.“
Ryan’s teacher Suzanne Smith says Ryan’s award has inspired his fellow schoolmates. “It has shown them that what they learn at school can be applied in the real world. The technology we now have access to means they can move beyond the school walls to learn.”
In its inaugural year, the Innovate Manawatu competition, organised by the Bio Commerce Centre and Palmerston North City Council, attracted more than 250 entries. Massey University students Rhys Knauf, Michelle Power and Julian Maggin took the first-place $20,000 prize in the competition for their calf feeder.