Applications for the National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena and Awards, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Farmers Journal, are now being accepted with the deadline extended to the 15 July 2017. Irish agri companies are invited to apply to showcase their products and innovations at the heart of the NPA Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, 19-21 September 2017. 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. The National Ploughing Championships is one of Europe’s largest outdoor agricultural trade exhibitions. 2016 saw the most successful Championships ever with 283,000 attendees and 1,700 exhibitors. This year’s Innovation 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. James Maloney, Senior Regional Development Executive, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Innovation Arena for 2017 has again attracted huge interest from companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs and to date we have received a diverse range of applications to enter the competition. Already over 100 international buyers have confirmed their attendance for this year’s event and the new look marquee will give participants in the Innovation Arena an improved platform to showcase their innovations to overseas visitors. The extra space and the new all indoor machinery display, will give the event a new dimension this year. The Arena this year is located right in the centre of the action, guaranteeing a strong footfall of visitors. With the extended deadline of the 15th of July looming, I’d strongly encourage all interested parties to get their applications in as quickly as possible as demand for entry is high.” All potential innovators from all stages of business development, can apply online at www.innovationarena.ie This year’s NPA Innovation Arena prize fund equates to over €80,000 in supports. 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. Last year’s winner of the ‘International Gold Medal Award’, Cross Engineering, received significant exposure as a result of the win and by exhibiting at the Innovation Arena and has already secured five orders for their giant chaser bin. The Award has resulted in international sales to France, the United States and domestic sales in Ireland.