From a solar powered water pumping system to a water treatment machine that reduces the need for antibiotics in poultry flocks, the most innovative Irish agri-tech products were named by the Republic of Ireland’s An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD as she presented the 2017 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards at the National Ploughing Championships.
Representing the future of Irish agri-tech, the awards recognise innovative agri-tech capability and new product development in the agriculture sector.
I’m delighted to be here today for my first ever visit to the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena. Ireland is fast establishing itself as a global agri-tech innovation hub and the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards successfully showcases the future of agri-tech and puts Irish agri-innovations on a world stage.Frances Fitzgerald TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation
This year’s Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena, in conjunction with the National Ploughing Association and the Irish Farmers Journal, features ground-breaking agri related products and innovations from 69 Irish agri companies, including new machinery and software solutions that save time and increase efficiency in the agricultural sector.
The Innovation Arena has become Ireland’s event to showcase agri-tech innovations to a global market. More than 100 buyers from global regions including the US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Africa and Europe, will be visiting the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena to see the best of Irish agri-tech capability.
150 applications to exhibit were received with 69 exhibitors selected, all of whom are finalists in the awards competition.
Of these, eight are spinout research projects, 11 are established companies and 45 are new start-up entrepreneurial led exhibits. All successfully completed the newly introduced Innovation Bootcamp earlier this year.
The total prize fund this year is in excess of €70,000 including a top prize worth over €15,000 for the most innovative start-up.
The first Innovation Arena seven years ago featured eight exhibitors in a gazebo and has grown to become the largest marquee hosting world-class agri-innovations at the National Ploughing Championships.
Announcing the winners, an Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD said: “I’m delighted to be here today for my first ever visit to the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena. Ireland is fast establishing itself as a global agri-tech innovation hub and the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards successfully showcases the future of agri-tech and puts Irish agri-innovations on a world stage.
“My department through Enterprise Ireland is focused on working with the winners and finalists as they start, innovate and scale their businesses, grow exports internationally and create jobs in Ireland.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said: “The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards are a strong reflection of the high level of agri-tech innovation and provide an important platform for established companies and start-ups to showcase their innovations to international buyers attending the event from across the world.
“Recognising the value and potential of the agri sector to drive economic growth and export sales, Enterprise Ireland is supporting the sector to innovate and create new business opportunities across the world.”
NPA managing director Anna May McHugh said: “We are delighted to partner again with Enterprise Ireland on the exceptional Innovation Arena as it makes a welcome return to Ploughing with ground breaking technologies and cutting-edge ideas that will amaze.
“It really is a great opportunity for all innovators and companies to enhance Ireland’s reputation across the world, to deliver world class agri-tech products.”
Overall winner: Alfred Cox Founder’s Cup Perpetual Trophy, recognising his contribution to the agri-engineering industry
Solar Pump Solutions
Brian Davis of Solar Pump Solutions
Remote Signals Ltd
Agri-Engineering Large Established Company
Keenan - an Alltech Company
Samco Agricultural Manufacturing Ltd
Agri-Technology Established Company
Research Emerging from Third-Level