Current Projects

Some examples of the publicly funded projects our researchers are currently working on are summarised below.

PestNu – Field -testing and demonstration of digital and space based technologies with agro-ecological and organic practices in systemic innovation

Start Date: 1 October 2020  End Date: 30 September 2024

Project Summary:

PestNu is funded under Horizon 2020 Innovation Actions (Grant Agreement 101037128) and targets the field -testing and demonstration of digital and space based technologies (DST) and agro-ecological and organic practices (AOP) under a systemic approach to reduce the pesticides and fertilisers use, and loss of nutrients. The consortium, led by the research centre CERTH/ITI, is made up by 20 companies and research institutes from Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and UK.

The consortium brings novel DST that include AI robotic traps for real time pest monitoring; Autonomous mobile robots for pesticide monitoring and 3D spot spraying; Earth Observation missions with robust Agroradar AI algorithms to map soil/plant nutrients and pest plant inputs; and in-situ and real-time nutrient analysers. The AOP include on-site production of biofertilisers from agricultural waste-waters; a novel foliar biopesticide formulated by circular bioeconomy operations; and advanced nutritional programs for organic farming. These solutions will be demonstrated and tested in aquaponic and hydroponic greenhouse and open-field vegetable cultivation in Greece and Spain. All these systemic approaches will be performed under a strong collaboration among all the Farm to Fork stakeholders and European Commission services.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab will lead the deployment and scale up of in-situ and real-time nutrient analysers with low cost, low power pumping solutions and with robust web-based portals to enable nutrient sensor networks.

IRC – Cost effective, fully automated portable high-performance liquid chromatograph for on-site analysis of priority pollutants in river and ground water systems

Start Date: 1 September 2020  End Date: 31 August 2022

Project Summary:

Through funding provided by the Irish Research Council and facilitated by Dublin City University, this research based Master’s is focused on the development of a cost effective, fully automated portable high-performance liquid chromatograph which will enable the detection of labile species in the field. Building upon the pump technology developed in grants SFI 14/TIDA/2406 and EI CF-2016-0444, work will be carried out to further develop pump technology to enable the use of laboratory specification components in a portable system. The developed chromatograph will provide a portable platform, enabling various methods to be employed in any location. This novel portable HPLC will deliver near real time, high temporal and spatial resolution data complementary to existing grab sampling with laboratory analysis practices.

ARC Linkage – Portable and field-deployable analytical platforms for water monitoring

Start Date: 2022  End Date: 2025

Project Summary:

This project sets out to tackle one of the costliest and most challenging environmental problems, namely, nutrient pollution in water systems. At present, nutrient pollutant monitoring is predominantly carried out using an antiquated manual approach with numerous shortcomings, inadequate to achieve truly effective water quality management. The in-situ analyser developed and deployed within this project will provide continuous real-time observations and will allow users to remotely monitor water quality; alerting them to pollutant levels, enabling immediate action to be taken to prevent environmental damage. The system is low-cost, facilitating mass adoption, yet delivers an analytical performance comparable to leading laboratory analysers.

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council through the Linkage Projects program and is administered by the University of Tasmania (Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science) in collaboration with TelLab, the Northern Tasmanian Natural Resource Management Association Inc., and The Tasmanian Fruit & Vegetable Export Facilitation Group.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab will participate in the laboratory-based development of robust and selective ion chromatographic capability, solutions for simultaneous detection of anionic and cationic species, remote power solutions for long-term deployment, and wireless telemetry solutions. TelLab will also host two PhD students for a 6-month industry placement.

Agile – Portable, cost-effective nitrate and nitrite analyser for water analysis

Start Date: 04 August 2020 End Date: 11 February 2022

Project Summary:

TelLab have developed a novel analytical platform for the analysis of nitrite and nitrate. This project, funded by Enterprise Ireland Agile Innovation Fund, will focus on the development of a new version of this product, aimed at addressing needs in the market place which have been identified through extensive market analysis. This work will be carried out within our R&D department over an 18-month period. As the core technology utilised within the analyser is patented and the technical skills and necessary know-how are present within the company, this future product can be developed swiftly and in an efficient manner.

The ultimate aim of this project is to generate a new product offering in the form of a new cost-effective, in-situ water analyser for the analysis of nutrient pollutants in freshwater and surface water environments.