Yesterday, the most innovative Irish agri-tech products were announced by An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD.
The prize fund up for grabs 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 took centre stage seven years ago showcasing eight exhibitors in a gazebo.
A total of 69 Irish Agri Companies were whittled down from an initial 150 applications in order to feature at this year’s Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena, in conjunction with the National Ploughing Association and the Irish Farmers Journal.
New machinery and software solutions including a solar powered water pumping system to a water treatment machine that reduces the need for antibiotics in poultry flocks are just some of the innovations to be found.
More than 100 buyers from global regions including the US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Africa and Europe, are in attendance in order to review the best of Irish agri-tech capability.
Of these, eight are spinout research projects, 11 are established companies and 45 are new start-up entrepreneurial led exhibits.
All have successfully completed the newly introduced Innovation Bootcamp earlier this year.
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."
Justin McCarthy, Farmers Journal said: “The Farmers Journal is delighted to be involved again in the Innovation Arena. Irish manufacturing in the agri-tech sector is critical to deliver farmers with the latest technology, to increase efficiency and profit. The Innovation Arena, is a perfect platform for Irish companies to grow their business globally, and reduce their exposure to Brexit”.
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
Special Awards are set to be announced today, Thursday 21st September, including
Anna May McHugh Female Leadership in Agriculture Perpetual Trophy and The People’s Choice Award.