Innovation winners named at National Ploughing Championships

21 Sep 2016

Wheat field. Image: Shutterstock

Agritech start-up Eurotec Designs was named overall innovation winner at the National Ploughing Championships, landing significant capital in the process.

Seeing off almost 200 rivals, Eurotec Designs took both the start-up and overall award to take home €15,000 of the total €70,000 prize fund.

The National Ploughing Championships claims a record 195 applications were received to exhibit for the awards, with just under 70 chosen to attend the event.

Anna May McHugh, MD of the National Ploughing Association (NPA), said: “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,” she said.

Of the 68 businesses exhibiting, 12 were established companies and 48 were start-ups. The remaining eight were research projects.

Entries were sought from outside of Ireland this year for the first time, with companies from the UK and New Zealand participating at the event.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said 250,000 people are employed in the agricultural sector in Ireland, distributed throughout the country.

Calling it the “heartbeat” of rural Ireland, Mitchell O’Connor noted how forward-looking the sector has become, evidenced by the companies on display at the event.

The winners were:

Agri-engineering start-up

  • Gold Medal (and overall winner) – 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

Agritech start-up

  • Gold Medal – Firmwave
  • Silver Medal – Farmflo

Agritech established company

  • Gold Medal – Forcefield Active
  • Silver Medal – Herdwatch Ring Side

Research emerging from 3rd level

  • Gold Medal – Tyndall National Institute

Innovation arena machine of the year

  • Eurotec Designs

Design partners award

  • Eirechrom

Safety award

  • Gold Medal – OCE
  • Silver Medal – Joseph Hyland

Young innovator

  • Patrick Lane

International gold medal

  • Cross Agri Engineering

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

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic