09 Dec 2021

Prize fund of over €80,000 in supports for innovative agri companies

National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena Awards, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Farmers Journal

Prize fund of over €80,000 in supports for innovative Longford agri companies

Ann May McHugh, Managing Director, National Ploughing Championships; Justin McCarthy, CEO and Editor in Chief, Irish Farmers Journal and Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland

The National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena Awards, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Farmers Journal, has opened for applications.

Irish agri companies are invited to showcase their products and innovations at the heart of the NPA Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly, September 19-21, 2017.

Innovation Awards winners will be announced across a range of categories including ‘Agri Engineering’ and ‘Agricultural Technology’. The overall start-up winner will be eligible to win up to €5,000 cash prize.

The Innovation Arena is the ideal place to showcase ground-breaking agri-related developments, whether they are inventions developed at home or professional innovations from top companies, to the thousands of visitors the National Ploughing Championships attracts each year.

This year’s Arena will focus on putting Irish agri-innovations on a world stage and will include seminars on Brexit, Agri-Careers and Global Markets as well as facilitating networking opportunities. Last year’s competition attracted 200 entries; 55 were shortlisted as 2016 finalists and invited to exhibit in the Innovation Arena.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland said: “The agri sector is of huge importance to the Irish economy and a key role of Enterprise Ireland is to help companies in the sector scale-up. The Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships is a key event for Enterprise Ireland where we showcase the top Irish agri-innovations to international buyers. This year, we will launch a new initiative that will see an ‘Innovation Boot Camp’ held on August 22 at the Irish Farmers Journal demonstration farm in Tullamore. This Boot Camp will deliver advice, mentoring, and support for innovators in the agri sector and we look forward to seeing the next wave of Irish agri companies coming to the fore”.

Justin McCarthy, CEO and Editor in Chief, Irish Farmers Journal said: “The Farmers Journal is leading change and innovation across the agricultural industry, and indeed in our own business. Irish agricultural products both in food and manufacturing have a worldwide reputation. Our green based production systems and spin off industries are the foundation of our success. The Farmers Journal is excited about our involvement with partners Enterprise Ireland and the National Ploughing to promote established and start-up companies.”   

Anna May McHugh, Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championships said: “The National Ploughing has been a fore runner in innovation since 1931 for agriculture and indeed rural Ireland as a whole. We are again delighted to team up with Enterprise Ireland and the Farmers Journal to facilitate the Innovation Arena for 2017. This year sees the partnership grow even stronger with the largest arena ever and a strong focus on Irish manufacturing and products.”

The 2017 NPA Innovation Arena prize fund equates to over €80,000 in supports - up €15,000 when compared to last year’s competition.  The overall award winner will receive a top prize worth €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland and The Irish Farmers Journal which includes advertising and PR support, mentoring and a cash prize of €5,000. All finalists will receive an advertising voucher to promote their innovation through the Irish Farmers Journal and a subsidised stand in the Innovation Arena for 2017. The final participants for the 2017 Innovation Arena will be selected on 22 August.          

To enter this year’s Innovation Arena Awards please visit: enterpriseireland/2074/ register

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