Minister Heather Humphreys has opened Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation ArenaAwards at the National Ploughing Championshipsfor applications from Irish companies in the agri sector. The awards will take place within the Innovation Arena at the heart of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, 18-21 September 2018.
The awards allow Irish companies to showcase pioneering developments in the agri sector and related subsectors such asagri-tech and agri-engineering. This year’s arena will also feature a conference venue where companies can launch new productsand present to international buyers. Over 100 buyers from all over the globe attended last year.
This year’s Arena will feature seminars on key issues affecting the sector including Brexit and Global Markets and will facilitate networking opportunities for attending companies. Last year’s competition attracted 200 entries and 69 were shortlisted as finalist exhibitorsat the Innovation Arena.
Judging for the awards will take place at the arena throughout the three-day event in categories including ‘Agri Engineering’ and ‘Agricultural Technology’. 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 on23 June 2018.
Speaking this week, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys 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."