u3a - U3A’s enterprising Shared Learning Project

u3a ni slp

An unusual U3A shared learning project, mentoring a group of local students as they develop their business idea, is being conducted at North Down and Ards U3A in Northern Ireland,

The young inventors from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) Bangor, County Down, won a top prize in an enterprise competition by devising an innovative fishing trawler safety mechanism.

U3A members were part of the judging panel who felt the winners demonstrated a high level of research and professionalism.  The students are now developing the commercial viability of the idea.

Adrianne Brown from U3A said “We were extremely impressed by the quality of the work and the enthusiasm of the students and are delighted to be supporting them as they develop their idea.

“This is called the ANCPOS Project (Advanced Numerical Control Panel Operating System) and the students task was to reduce the hazards of winch operation on small fishing vessels through a more efficient automated remote control system

“I chair this SLP mentoring group which has met 6 times.   The group includes the four students, three members from SERC and six mentors from U3A.

“As part of my role, I contacted key people in public agencies including the umbrella organisation representing commercial fishing interests from Northern Ireland, called Seafish NI. Together with the Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation they have generously given £1000 to help the students build and trial a working prototype which we hope to see completed by early September 2018.

 “It is unusual for U3A to provide mentoring in this capacity through a learning project and we are very excited to be involved.”