A Co Kildare-based manufacturer of milking parlours and robotic systems has been named overall winner of this year’s Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena Awards.
Pearson Milking Technology’s new 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.
Innovation Arena Awards
For the last two years, the Innovation Arena Awards have been held virtually. However, this year sees the return of the 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.
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.