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The west's awake with bright business achievers

EIGHT businesses have won prizes at the Connacht final of the 2010 Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.

The winners of the awards, in association with the Irish Independent, Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, will go on to compete with the winners from the other provinces for the national title and individual category title at the all-island final in April.

A total of 390 businesses from the North and the Republic entered this year's awards, which aim to recognise and reward business success, regardless of business offering, service or location.

Companies were judged on a variety of merits, including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy and development of innovative products and services.

Medical device company Aerosurgical won the Innovation and Emerging Technology Award for its 'AeroSurge' platform, which delivers therapeutics into the abdominal cavity of patients during surgery to combat post-surgical complications such as pain and adhesions.

Mayo's Major Equipment International claimed the International Business Award.

The company manufactures and exports a range of grass cutting, slurry handling and site equipment.

The gong for Social Entrepreneurship went to the West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation, while the winner in the Start-Up Business category was Galway's Irish Ambulance Training Institute.

Heaney Meats Catering won the Family Run Business award. Jennings, O'Donovan & Partners from Sligo came out on top in the Green business category. It operates in renewable energy, efficient energy use and environmental consultancy and services.

The Agriculture, Food & Drink Award went to Roscommon's Gilligan Meats which provides meat products from their own stock.

The new Service Business Award was won by the Galway Clinic, which aims to improve cancer care services in the west.

The national winner will get a comprehensive package including an executive education programme at Harvard Business School, €50,000 worth of advertising space in the Irish Independent and a one-year membership of the Institute of Directors.

Irish Independent