Minister Bruton launches ‘data analytics’ research project to forecast milk supply and quality

By 7th October 2014 No Comments
Enda McDonnell (EI), Prof Willie Donnelly, Minister Richard Bruton & Eric Robson PI on SMART Appi

Enda McDonnell (EI), Prof Willie Donnelly, Minister Richard Bruton & Eric Robson PI on SMART Appi

Dairy Sector looks to the Future 

Tuesday, 7th October 2014: The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, launched a research collaboration to help Irish dairy processors handle increased milk production.

The collaboration sees Glanbia and Dairygold collaborate with Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunication Software and Systems Group (TSSG), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Teagasc.

Launching the ‘Smart Appi’ Project, Minister Bruton said; ‘This Innovation Partnership is closely aligned with Big Data, one of the government’s seven disruptive reforms contained in the action plan for jobs. This investment of almost €445,000 from Enterprise Ireland and the companies involved – Glanbia and Dairygold – underpins their belief that Data Analytics can significantly impact the growth of the dairy sector leading from innovation to job creation.’

According to Eric Robson, Principal Investigator on the project, “The overall result will be a better return for the investment for both organisations, Glanbia and Dairygold, in relation to the overallefficient sizing of processing capacity and the optimisation of their finished product portfolio.”

National quotas for the production of milk will end in April 2015. This will lead to new business and technical challenges for dairy processors.  The investment from Enterprise Ireland and the companies will minimise uncertainty around quality and quantity of milk being produced on farms. It will provide the processors with a way to reliably forecast variations in milk supply and has the potential to improve competiveness and boost employment in the sector.

The work will involve building the ‘Smart Appi’ software platform to provide the processors with a way to forecast variations in milk supply over the production season. By taking data from a range of external sources, processors will be able to identify emerging trends and get a more accurate prediction of short-term and longer-term milk production and quality levels.

As the producers strive to maximise output, a key issue for processors is how to plan transport, refrigeration, processing and finished product storage capacity. This is a particularly challenging and costly problem for the processors as currently throughout Ireland there is a 10% variance year on year of milk supply into the system with short term (weekly) fluctuations throughout the year. This Innovation Partnership project will result in optimum sizing and assignment of processing capacity and ultimately processing costs.


Editors Notes

 About Dairygold and Glanbia

Dairygold and Glanbia are making significant investments in capital infrastructure projects in order to be able to process the additional milk that will result from the removal of milk quotas.

Glanbia has undertaken the development of a new processing facility in Belview Co. Waterford. Dairygold is also making a significant investment in processing capacity in both Mitchelstown and Mallow.

About TSSG

Telecommunication Software and Systems Group (TSSG) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for ICT research and innovation. We carry out a wide spectrum of industry-informed research in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), particularly technologies enabling communications and information services.

Our four key prioritised technical Research areas include Mobile Platforms and Services, Security Privacy and Identity, Data Analytics and Social computing,   Adaptive Networks and services. We create economic impact by translating our knowledge base and innovation into leading edge products and services by continuing our engagement with Industry in collaborative R&D, knowledge generation and transfer.

Over the past five years, TSSG has delivered innovative solutions to over 110 Irish companies, and has created 16 spin out companies in the South East including the award winning FeedHenry, a groundbreaking mobile cloud platform company, and ZolkC, a leading provider of mobile technology for international visitor attractions and KodaCall a new ‘Click to Call’ Technology.

About Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) 

“The Cork Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering has developed world leading expertise in the areas of farm technology and milk production modelling in recent years.  CIT has over 300 postgraduate students and an additional 100 (circa) contract researchers.  The Institute focusses on ICT with applications in Smart Agriculture, Health, the Environment, Water and Assisted Living, Photonics, Life Sciences and Wellbeing, and Maritime, Energy and Sustainable Environment.”