Calling all agri-entrepreneurs

Colm Kelly, Patrick Kelly, Dr Grainne Watson, Fujitsu (agri-science category sponsor), Mark Kelly and Aidan Kelly at the presentation of the Invent 2016 Agri Science award at the Waterfront Belfast on 29th September 2016
Colm Kelly, Patrick Kelly, Dr Grainne Watson, Fujitsu (agri-science category sponsor), Mark Kelly and Aidan Kelly at the presentation of the Invent 2016 Agri Science award at the Waterfront Belfast on 29th September 2016

Invent 2017, the annual competition that showcases and rewards local innovations that promise great commercial potential, is open for applications.

Agri-science is one of six categories for Invent entries and we would encourage all farmers, growers, innovators, technologists, researchers, processors – anyone with an idea for a new agri business idea to apply.

Paul Watts with his Purple Magic Potato

Paul Watts with his Purple Magic Potato

If you have an innovative product idea that you are passionate about, we want to hear from you.

Run by Connect at Catalyst Inc and sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK, Invent has been unlocking the potential of great ideas for over 10 years.

Many of the finalists and winners are now successfully growing their innovation companies and exporting products and services around the globe.

There are six categories: agri science, enterprise software, life and health, creative media and consumer internet, engineering and electronics.

Having a breakthrough idea counts for nothing if it never sees the light of day. That’s why we would encourage everyone with novel product ideas to enter Invent 2017. It will help you realise the full potential of your innovation.

Steve Orr, Director, Connect

Invent 2016 Agri-Science category winner was Dipfast, an enclosed sheep dipping unit created by the Kelly Family of Beragh, Co Tyrone.

Mark Kelly, founder, said: “We were delighted to have picked up this award and get further validation of our product and the hard work we have put in for the last three years.

“I have been a sheep farmer for over 40 years and understand the issues around treating sheep for parasites very well. Recognising the various challenges of this laborious and somewhat dangerous process we set about devising a solution.”

Runner up in the Agri-Science category was AFBI scientist Paul Watts with his Purple Magic, a potato variety with high levels of anthocyanin’s which research indicates has a beneficial impact on health.

This humble spud was developed at Loughgall in Co Armagh.

Invent 2017 launched on the 14th February and the closing date for entries is 31st March 2017.

There are various stages that build up to the finale awards ceremony where over 600 business leaders and investors gather to explore Northern Ireland’s best product ideas and discover who will be crowned the Invent 2017 winner.

Steve Orr, director at Connect, said: “Having a breakthrough idea counts for nothing if it never sees the light of day. That’s why we would encourage everyone with novel product ideas to enter Invent 2017. It will help you realise the full potential of your innovation.”

For more information on Invent 2017 visit www.invent2017.co or contact Invent programme manager Kerry McGarvey Kerry.mcgarvey@catalyst-inc.org.