ChildrenFarm Machinery

16-year-old scoops top prize at innovation awards for tractor invention

The winner of the People’s Choice Award was announced at the Innovation Arena on Thursday.

Jack Nagle, a 16-year-old entrepreneur from Castlemaine, Co Kerry, has won the People’s Choice Award for his ‘Tractor Safe Lock’ device on Thursday.

The device automatically engages the handbrake in a tractor when the operator leaves the seat. As soon as the operator takes the tractor out of gear, the device activates through a pressure switch on the seat, pushing up the handbrake to safely stop the tractor rolling.

James Maloney of Enterprise Ireland praised Jack and said the award shows how the next generation will drive innovation in Irish agriculture.

Adding, “The level of interest in the Innovation Arena People’s Choice Awards this year – from client companies, exhibitors and the public in general has been huge. Jack Nagle and Tractor Safe Lock, represents one of the youngest winners of the Innovation Arena to date representing young entrepreneurial talent at its best and highlighting how Irish innovation is contributing to make farming practise safer. We wish Jack all the best in his business endeavours and Enterprise Ireland looks forward to working with him in the future.”

Jack, who was delighted with the award, has received huge interest in his device over the three days and has had talked with tractor manufacturers on taking on the product.

The Co. Kerry based company, founded by student Jack Nagle (16), is one of 69 companies exhibiting at the 2017 Innovation Arena and entered into this year’s awards. The People’s Choice Award is voted for by the general public via the Irish Farmers Journal website and app. The number of votes received totalled 3,000 with Tractor Safe Lock receiving over two-thirds (67 per cent) of the overall vote.

More than 60 companies competed for the award and many have developed sales opportunities from over 100 overseas buyers that were brought in by Enterprise Ireland.

Choice Award in association with Enterprise Ireland, the National Ploughing Association and the Irish Farmers Journal.

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