Agri-tech innovations at National Ploughing Championships

20th September 2016

, L-R: Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD; Clodagh Cavanagh, Managing Director Abbey Machinery, winner of the Anna May McHugh Female Leadership Award; Anna May McHugh, Managing Director, National Ploughing Championships

Minister announces the winners of the 2016 Innovation Awards

Today, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD announced the winners of the 2016 Innovation Arena Awards sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Irish Farmers Journal and the National Ploughing Association. The awards recognise innovative agri-tech capability and new product development in the agriculture sector.

A record 195 applications to exhibit were received with 68 exhibitors selected, all of whom are finalists in the Awards competition. Of these, eight are spinout research projects, 12 are established companies and 48 are new start-up entrepreneurial led exhibits. Entries were sought outside of Ireland for the first time this year and entrants from the UK and New Zealand are also participating at this year’s event.

The total prize fund this year is in excess of €70,000 including a top prize worth over €15,000 to the most innovative start-up.

Overall Winner & Category Awards:

Agri-Engineering Start-Up

Gold Medal – Eurotec Designs

Silver Medal - EcoVolve

Agri-Engineering Established Company  

Gold Medal - Major Equipment 

Silver Medal – Rota Spiral


Sustainable Agriculture Start-Up 

Gold Medal – MicroGen Biotech 

Gold Medal – MagGrow 

Silver Medal – Eirechrom


Sustainable Agriculture Established Company 

Gold Medal - NutrioBio


Agri-Technology Startup 

Gold Medal - Firmwave 

Silver Medal - Farmflo


Agri-Technology Established Company 

Gold Medal - Forcefield Active 

Silver Medal - Herdwatch Ring Side


Overall Startup Winner (drawn from above) 

Eurotec Designs

General awards:

Research Emerging from 3rd Level

Gold Medal - Tyndall National Institute

Innovation Arena Machine of the Year

Eurotec Designs

Design Partners Award


Safety Award

Gold Medal – OCE

Silver Medal – Joseph Hyland

Young Innovator

Patrick Lane

International Gold Medal

Cross Agri Engineering

Special Awards

Alfred Cox Founder’s Cup Perpetual Trophy, recognising his contribution to the agri-engineering industry – Eurotec Designs

Anna May McHugh Female Leadership in Agriculture Perpetual Trophy – Clodagh Cavanagh, Abbey Machinery

Announcing the winners, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “The agriculture sector is of huge importance to the Irish economy providing employment opportunities for over 250,000 people spread all around the country. It remains the heartbeat of the rural Irish economy, one that is clearly beating strongly as it embraces the future and we see it here in the range and quality of innovations on display at the Innovation Arena. I warmly congratulate the winners of these Awards and all of the companies exhibiting in the Innovation Arena and wish them success for the future.”

Denis Duggan, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland has added a significant international dimension to the Innovation Arena this year with inward buyer visits from more than 15 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, China, Germany, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia. The Innovation Arena is a strong reflection of the great possibilities that lie in the agricultural sector and we look forward to working with the Award winners as they start, innovate and scale their businesses, growing exports and creating jobs at home in Ireland”.

Anna May McHugh, Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championships (NPA) added: “The NPA has watched the Innovation Arena go from strength to strength over the last six years and we are delighted with its success. This is an excellent initiative that firmly focuses on agriculture in the future and is an exciting showcase for all the visitors to the National Ploughing Championships”. 

James Maloney, The Farmers Journal said: “The Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships is Ireland’s premier agri-technology showcase and the Irish Farmers Journal is delighted with the response to this year’s competition. It is great to see farm inventors, start-ups and existing businesses come together to one location with innovation in mind and gives us a good picture of the future possibilities for agriculture”.

Recognising the value and potential of the agri sector to drive economic growth and export sales, Enterprise Ireland’s new Agri Competitive Start Fund (CSF) of €500,000 opens for applications on Wednesday 21st September and closes on Thursday 6th October. The fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity investment to 10 successful start-up enterprises in the agri/manufacturing sectors.

The People’s Choice Award at the Innovation Arena will be announced on Thursday 22nd September – voting can be done online or through the Ploughing App.



Photos will be syndicated by Fennells Photography and are also available on request

For further information:



Conor O’Donovan

Head of Communications
Enterprise Ireland

Conor O'Donovan

+353 1 7272912