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Final call for applications for Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena Awards at the National Ploughing Championships

  • Deadline for applications for this year’s Innovation Arena Awards is 5pm Friday 7th June
  • New for 2024 is live pitch competition with €10,000 prize for best start-up 
  • Other awards for this year are ‘Green Impact’ and ‘Innovation Arena Champion’ 
  • Return of ‘Agritech Hub’ at the Innovation Arena, a key exhibition platform at one of Europe’s largest outdoor events

20th May 2024: Final applications are now being accepted by Enterprise Ireland for this year’s Innovation Arena Awards, which will return to the 2024 National Ploughing Championships (NPC).

The Innovation Arena, which is hosted in partnership with the National Ploughing Association (NPA), is an annual exhibition platform showcasing cutting-edge solutions from Irish agritech companies and innovators to thousands of visitors at one of Europe’s largest outdoor events.

The 2024 Innovation Arena will focus on ‘Innovations for Future Generations’, showcasing solutions that will help improve efficiencies in animal science and technology, agri-engineering, digital technologies, animal health and nutrition, sustainability and climate action, and farm health and safety.

Applications for this year’s Innovation Arena Awards, which will be held on the first day of the Championships, will close on Friday 7th June at 5pm. Entries are being invited from Irish-owned companies, research and academia, who have pioneering innovations with the potential to deliver solutions for the agriculture sector that could help to optimise and futureproof the industry.  Those who are successful in their submission will automatically be offered an exhibition spot within the Innovation Arena.

There will be three award categories this year, including a new competition whereby three finalists will be asked to pitch their innovation to a panel of judges in front of a live audience.  The winner will be named ‘Start-Up Innovator of the Year’ and will receive a €10,000 prize.

The ‘Innovation Arena Champion 2024’ prize will be for established companies with a focus on scaling and innovation, while the new ‘Green Impact Award 2024’ will honour a company whose innovation is focused on sustaining the development of food and farming for future generations to come.

At this year’s Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships, there will also be an opportunity for previous participants to apply for a space in the popular ‘Agritech Hub’.  This is an important exhibition space which gives Irish-owned agritech companies the opportunity to return to the NPC and display their progress to a varied audience, which also includes domestic and international visitors and buyers.

The winners of this year’s competition will be announced at a ceremony at Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena at the 2024 National Ploughing Championships, which returns to Ratheniska, Co Laois, from 17th to 19th September.

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting Irish businesses to grow and scale, and to become global leaders in their field, and this includes pioneering Irish agritech businesses that are having an impact around the world.

“Irish agritech innovators are shaping the future, and new ideas and cutting-edge products have never been in greater demand to deliver solutions to global challenges, with a particular focus on sustainability as we strive to work together to protect our planet and futureproof this sector.

“Working with the NPA, Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena provides an important platform for Irish companies in this sector, bringing together some of the brightest minds, and I would encourage all entrepreneurs who are interested to consider applying.”

The Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships is a key platform for showcasing Irish capabilities in this sector, as the NPC annually attracts over 250,000 visitors over the course of the three-day event.

Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director, said: “The Innovation Arena proves to be a massive draw at the National Ploughing Championships every year, as it puts a spotlight on the Irish change makers who are making an impact around the world.  We are delighted to continue this successful partnership with Enterprise Ireland again for this year’s Innovation Arena, as it annually delivers cutting edge ideas and technologies, which shapes the future of agriculture globally.”

James Maloney, Senior Development Adviser, Enterprise Ireland, said“In a sector where the landscape is constantly changing, the importance of initiatives like the Innovation Arena, in partnership with the NPA, have never been more important.

“Reflecting the ever-evolving demands placed on the sector, in this year’s competition there will be a focus on ‘Innovations for Future Generations’. We are particularly interested in learning more about pioneering innovations and solutions which address issues across animal science and technology, agri-engineering, digital technologies, animal health and nutrition, sustainability and climate action, and farm health and safety.”

To enter this year’s Innovation Arena Awards, please click here.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 7th June 2024.


For more information:

Innovation Arena Awards – 

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