Minister Heather Humphreys has opened Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena Awards at the National Ploughing Championships for applications from Irish companies in the agri sector. The awards will take place within the popular Innovation Arena at the heart of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, 18-21 September 2018.
The Innovation Arena is a unique platform from which Irish companies can showcase pioneering developments in the agri sector and related subsectors such as agri-tech and agri-engineering. This year’s arena will also feature a conference venue where companies can launch new products and present to international buyers. Over 100 buyers from all over the globe attended last year.
Judging for the awards will take place at the arena throughout the three-day event in categories including ‘Agri Engineering’ and ‘Agricultural Technology’. The overall start-up winner will be eligible to win up to €15,000 cash prize.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “I am delighted to launch the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships. Agriculture forms the foundation of our regional economy, and Ireland’s reputation as a global leader in agri innovation continues to grow. The Government of Ireland, through Enterprise Ireland, is committed to the creation of sustainable jobs in rural Ireland and the support of regionally-based companies and entrepreneurs. I am delighted that the Arena will showcase pioneering Irish innovation in the agri sector and I greatly look forward to seeing the products and services these companies have created in September.”
In addition to propelling Irish innovations to a world stage, this year’s Arena will feature seminars on key issues affecting the sector including Brexit and Global Markets and will facilitate crucial networking opportunities for attending companies. Last year’s competition attracted 200 entries; 69 were shortlisted as finalist exhibitors at the Innovation Arena.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland said: “The Irish agri sector is at the heart of the Irish economy and the companies who display their innovations each year at the Innovation Arena are a stellar example of the innovative and revolutionary development taking place in this country. Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting companies with global ambition who have innovation at the core of their business, and for this reason, the Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships, where the top innovations are showcased for international buyers, is a key event for us. I am also delighted to say that the ‘Innovation Boot Camp’ will once again take place on 15 August 2018 at the Irish Farmers Journal demonstration farm in Tullamore. This boot camp will deliver advice, mentoring, and support for innovators in the agri sector.”
Anna May McHugh, Director, NPA said: “The Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships is an incredible opportunity for anyone who has a good business idea to showcase their product at Europe’s largest outdoor event with the potential to become the next big success story in Irish business. The phenomenal achievements of the previous years’ winners are an utter testament that the entrepreneurial spark is alive and flourishing in Ireland. The NPA are delighted to continue the winning Innovation Arena partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Farmers Journal.”
The 2018 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. 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 2018. The final participants for the 2018 Innovation Arena will be selected on 23 June 2018.
To enter this year’s Innovation Arena Awards, please visit: www.innovationarena.ie
Source: Enterprise Ireland