Pearson Milking Technology named overall winner of the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards 2022

19th September, 2022

Pearsons Milking Technology
Pictured L-R: Lee Wilson, David Pearson and Lloyd Pearson of Pearsons Milking Technology.

Winners of 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards in association with the National Ploughing Championships announced at international networking event

From machine learning to on farm automation, the most innovative Irish agri-tech and agri-engineering products were this evening named by Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy and National Ploughing Association Managing Director Anna May McHugh. They presented the 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards at an international networking event, ahead of the National Ploughing Championships which kick off tomorrow.

Showcasing the future of Irish agri-tech, the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards recognises innovative agri-tech and agri-engineering capabilities and new product development in the agriculture sector. A strong theme which emerged from this year’s Innovation Arena Awards was a focus on efficiency while also contributing to food security and the fight against climate change.

This year’s overall Innovation Arena Awards winner was Co Kildare-based manufacturer of milking parlours and robotic systems Pearson Milking Technology. Their new winning invention - ‘Bullseye’- provides a real time Body Condition Scoring (BCS) of dairy cattle which is based on an automated visual inspection of the fat around the pin bones of the cow. Identifying a cow’s BCS during breeding is an important task as it is vital in optimising a farm's milk production. The ‘Bullseye’ invention drives innovation through the automation and delivers benefits to farms as it frees up resources, improves overall outputs and increases efficiencies, contributing to sustained food production and addressing the challenge of labour shortages on farms.

The best overall start-up award went to Micron Agritech which provides rapid on-site parasite testing for grazing animals. The company’s new invention - ‘the Rapid Liver Fluke Test’ – allows farmers to easily test livestock for liver fluke on-site through its ‘Micron Kit’ app, with results delivered in minutes using AI analysis. Infections in livestock by liver fluke are a major economic problem for farmers, reducing yield and leading to significant treatment costs, as well as representing a serious animal welfare issue. Micron Agritech’s innovation provides an efficient, reliable solution to this issue, which often goes undetected.

For the last two years, the Innovation Arena Awards have been held virtually. However, this year sees the return of the hugely popular live and interactive ‘Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena’ at the three-day National Ploughing Championship, which is being held in Ratheniska, Co Laois, from tomorrow (Tues), September 20th to Thursday, 22nd September, 2022.

In association with the National Ploughing Association, Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena will showcase ground-breaking agri-related products and innovations from 60 Irish agri-companies, including the winners of the 2020/21 Innovation Arena Awards. And over 100 buyers and international media from 19 countries will also be attending events at the Innovation Arena throughout the week.

80 applications to exhibit at the Innovation Arena were received and the top 40 exhibitors selected to exhibit were all finalists in the Awards competition.

The total prize fund for this year’s award winners is in excess of €25,000, including a two top prizes of €5,000 for the Established Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ and the Start-up Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ for 2022.

Announcing the award winners at the international networking event in the Innovation Arena, Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said:

“A strong farming heritage and cutting-edge technologies have made Ireland a global centre for agri-tech quality and innovation. By focusing on greater efficiency across every aspect of modern agriculture, Irish agri-tech businesses are delivering forward-thinking solutions to address some of the industry’s greatest challenges and changing demands. The positive impacts that these solutions will have on future global agriculture, particularly in relation to environmental, sustainability and digitalisation, are inspiring.

“These advances are reflected in today’s Innovation Arena Awards, which showcase the ingenuity and talent of Irish farm experts, entrepreneurs and businesses on a world stage. Congratulations to all the awards winners, and particularly Pearson Milking Technology as this year’s overall winner. At Enterprise Ireland we look forward to working with the winners and finalists as they start, innovate, and scale their businesses, grow exports internationally and create jobs in Ireland.”

National Ploughing Association Managing Director, Anna May McHugh, said:

“Congratulations to all of the Innovation Arena Award winners and particularly Pearson Milking Technology as the overall winner this year. This is a remarkable achievement given the high standard and calibre of entries being showcased this year.

“We’re delighted to collaborate once again with Enterprise Ireland on the Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships, which provides an excellent opportunity for budding entrepreneurs and innovators in the agri-tech and agri-engineering space to showcase their product at Europe’s largest outdoor event.”

ENDS

Award Winners

Established Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ 2022:
Pearson Milking Technology, Kildare

Start-up Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ 2022:
Micron Agritech, Dublin

Agri-Engineering - Established Company:
Unison Process Solutions, Limerick

Agri-Technology Award:
Lvlogics Limited, Meath

Sustainable Agriculture Award:
Goldcrop Ltd, Cork

Agri-Safety Award:
TailJack.com, Kerry

Young Innovation of the Year:
Michael Clarke – Clarke Agri Engineering, Mayo

IFAC Best New-Comer:
Cotter Crate, Limerick

UCD AgTech Start Up Award:
Concept Dairy, Dublin

Animal Health Award – Established:
Terra Nutritech, Kildare

Animal Health Award – Start-Up:
Micron Agritech, Dublin

Alfie Cox On Farm Innovation Award:
PGM Technologies, Kilkenny

Farm Automation Award:
Pearson Milking Technology, Kildare

Smart Farming:
Alfco Censortec, Kerry

Research Emerging from a 3rd Level Award:
Tyndall National Institute

Lead International Entry:
Pondus, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Farm Software Award:
MartEye Limited, Galway

Notes to Editor

Winner Bios

Established Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ 2022 and Farm Automation Award: 

Pearson Milking Technology, Kildare

Pearson Milking Technology’s Bullseye is a product that automates the process of body condition scoring of cows using machines and deep learning to maximise accuracy. This information can then be used to improve overall outputs by fine-tuning the feeding of animals and keeping them in an optimal condition at all times.

Start-up Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ 2022 and Animal Health Award – Start-Up :

Micron Agritech, Dublin

Micron Agritech is revolutionising animal health by making diagnostics fast and accessible. With their product, Micron Kit, you can test animals for worms on-site, using your phone and get results within minutes.

Agri-Engineering - Established Company:

Unison Process Solutions, Limerick

Unison’s Smart Microdairy is a pasteurising solution that is making milk vending simple! The plug-and-play unit includes everything needed for processing and dispensing milk. This plug-and-play solution is built to the Department of Agriculture standards and is installed in just one day. The unit is operated by an app remotely and does not require the farmer to enter the processing room. When compared to batch pasteurisation, the Smart Microdairy is three times faster, requires ten times less labour, and is much more economical – generating six and a half times less operational costs, along with less energy and water usage.

Agri-Technology Award:

Lvlogics Limited, Meath

SiloSpi is a low-cost, IOT-connected, silo-monitoring system, developed by Lvlogics, which provides data to farmers on their phone/laptop, (anytime, anywhere) regarding the levels, temperature and humidity of the meal in their silo. Email alerts can be sent to the farmer (and their meal supplier) at predetermined levels, to ensure that the farmer never runs out of meal. It delivers health and safety benefits (as the need to climb silos to inspect levels is eliminated), can improve the quality of meal (by monitoring temperature and humidity), and enables the mill to plan the efficient, sustainable delivery of meal.

Sustainable Agriculture Award:

Goldcrop Ltd, Cork

Goldcrop is Ireland’s largest seed wholesaler, representing all grass, clover, forage, arable and amenity seeds. Since 2013, Goldcrop has represented the commercialisation of all new grass and clover varieties from the Teagasc Forage Breeding Programme in Teagasc OakPark, Carlow. The first ever Irish-bred Red Clover, called Fearga, has been developed by Teagasc. Fearga is a unique innovation with huge improvements in yield and persistence, more adapted to Irish conditions than any previous variety. Goldcrop will ensure a reliable supply of seed with the potential to save vast quantities of imported feed and fertiliser with huge overall benefits to the environment.

Agri-Safety Award:

TailJack.com, Kerry

The TailJack saves time while protecting staff and cows - especially during calving time when milking freshly calved heifers. Lifting a cow’s tail stops kicking during milking and veterinary treatment but requires one person to lift the tail and another person to attach the cluster or perform the treatment. Using the innovative TailJack, which attaches to a cow’s hips and holds the tail up, a lone operator can safely perform these activities. Staff and cow safety is improved, stress is reduced through calm handling, and scarce labour is saved. A demonstration video of the TailJack working can be seen on www.tailjack.com

Young Innovation of the Year-Michael Clarke:

Clarke Agri Engineering, Mayo

This dual-purpose machine can both shake out and rake in grass. It has a work-width of 20ft for both tedding and raking. It is hydraulically driven with its own independent hydraulic tank and pump. All controls and changeover operations are carried out in the cab of the tractor. The power requirement is a minimum of 90hp. Designated safe/danger zone. Proximity works when the user comes within 10 metres of another user, and Anchoring works when a user moves more than 10 metres away.

IFAC Best New-Comer:

Cotter Crate, Limerick

Cotter Agritech has developed the Cotter Crate, an innovative sheep handling system that makes handling sheep and lambs easier, 50% faster, and safer. They have also developed an app called SmartWorm which integrates with the crate. SmartWorm enables sheep farmers to transition from blanket treatment with antiparasitic drugs (wormers) to targeted applications treating only the animals that need it. This is achieved via advanced algorithms which identify in real-time whether an animal will benefit from a wormer treatment or not. This reduces antiparasitic drug use by up to 50% - reducing costs, slowing drug resistance, and mitigating negative biodiversity impacts.

UCD AgTech Start Up Award:

Concept Dairy, Dublin 

Concept Dairy is a technology platform that brings price transparency and financial security across the dairy supply chain.
The company has developed two technology-powered tools, plus they provide educational and consultancy to support dairy farmers and dairy processors:

  1. Concept Dairy Farmer App: Free to all farmers, gives all farmers a live, accurate milk price that updates daily and empowers farmers to take control of their milk price.
  2. Concept Dairy Risk Management Processor Platform: The Platform allows the dairy processor to understand and manage their risk across both physical and financial products.
  3. Education and Consultancy support

Animal Health Award – Established: 

Terra Nutritech, Kildare

Terra NutriTECH, a leader in minerals and dispensing systems, has developed the world’s first accurate mobile mineral dispenser, The Orbvie. Simply fill the Orbvie with liquid minerals, connect to the app on your phone, set animal numbers and dose rate, and place it in the animal’s drinking trough. The Orbvie unit will follow the average water consumption pattern, meaning all animals get their minerals. Powered by a long-life rechargeable battery and alerts when the unit will be empty, means farmers can have confidence their animals are getting the right minerals, at the right time. Terra NutriTECH - minerals made easy.

Alfie Cox On Farm Innovation Award:  

PGM Technologies, Kilkenny  

This is a low-cost maize establishment system that reduces the cost of growing maize, while also reducing the carbon footprint of growing the crop. This is achieved by using strip-till methods and the precise placement of liquid fertiliser in the seed trench.

Smart Farming:

Alfco Censortec, Kerry

Censortec and Alfco are two independent agtech companies based in Ireland. The product is an integration between Censortec’s animal monitoring system and Alfco’s automated drafting gates. It provides a seamless transfer of information from the Censortec system to the Alfco drafting app.

Research Emerging from a 3rd Level Award: 

Tyndall National Institute 

The Tyndall team developed a multi-sensor system to address challenges in soil monitoring and analysis. Real-time measurements of nitrates would help farmers optimise fertiliser application and define soil degradation at an early stage. It has now been buried in soil in Romania and France, providing real-time data for over two months constantly. Consequently, the invention is at the minimum viable product stage. Although licensing of the technology would provide the easiest exploitation route, their intention is to continue with development and determine the feasibility of a start-up venture from Tyndall that incorporates this sensor and other technologies in the field of soil monitoring.

Lead International Entry:

Pondus, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Pondus: the virtual poultry assistant. An in-shed camera system for remote, touchless 24/7 measurement and monitoring of poultry. The Pondus system reduces labour requirements and the biosecurity risks associated with shed entry, thus supporting healthier and happier birds and their workers. The technology is based on algorithms using artificial intelligence and deep data analytics. These algorithms operate through off-the-shelf camera systems for an affordable and accessible solution globally.

Farm Software Award: 

MartEye Limited, Galway

MartEye helps markets sell and farmers buy livestock and machinery online across Ireland and the UK. MartEye Clips provide mobile-first videos from markets across the platform, so farmers can quickly see current market prices. MartEye uses artificial intelligence to tailor the clips shown to farmers based on their farming interests.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Deirdre Geraghty

Press & Media Relations

Enterprise Ireland

Deirdre Geraghty

086 603 1969

Paul Daly

Press & Media Relations

Enterprise Ireland

Paul Daly

087 223 5187