Irish agritech is delivering solutions to global challenges​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The National Ploughing Championships takes place in Ratheniska, Co Laois from September 19 to September 21.

James Maloney

Ireland is synonymous with agriculture the world over, and now pioneering Irish agritech innovators are leading the charge globally as they continue to develop cutting-edge solutions for some of the toughest challenges.

Irish entrepreneurs have a hard-won reputation for quality, service and innovation, and this is largely due to their passion, ambition and agility. In the food and agricultural sectors in particular, Irish entrepreneurs are renowned for their quality, high tech smart solutions, which range from innovations in the area of autonomous farming and farm management, to research and efficiency with a strong focus on sustainable solutions and practices, including global nutrition challenges.

Testament to this is the results recently published by Enterprise Ireland, which showed that exports from client companies we support increased by 19pc to a record €32.1bn last year. And in the climate, sustainability and agritech sector specifically, exports by Enterprise Ireland-backed companies increased by 12pc in 2022 to €364m.

Supporting Irish-owned companies to achieve greater scale and expand their global footprint is a priority and this includes fostering the development of Irish agritech companies, and one such initiative is the Innovation Arena.

Enterprise Ireland is now accepting applications for this year’s Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena competition, which we are running in conjunction with the National Ploughing Association.

Arena returns to the Ploughing for its eighth year and provides over 50 companies from the agri sector with the opportunity to showcase their pioneering innovations to over 250,000 visitors at Europe’s largest outdoor event.

There are six categories including ‘Startup of the Year Award’ from Enterprise Ireland, the ACE Agri-tech award and the IFAC best newcomer award. This year the Innovation Arena is inviting applicants from startup companies that are under five years old and from established companies that are focused on innovation.

Judging for the awards will take place online during the last week of June and successful shortlisted applicants will be invited to an information webinar to prepare for the judging pitch and the event. The best startup winner will receive €10,000 and will be presented with the prize at a formal awards ceremony.

Enterprise Ireland is also proud to present a new addition to the Innovation Arena this year, as we will host, for the first time, an ‘AgTech’ hub, which will allow previous exhibitors and early-stage companies to demonstrate successes achieved to date. This will also provide an important networking and learning opportunity for entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their business journey, or even those who have an idea and want to take that first step.

Previous winners include last year’s overall Innovation Arena Award winner Pearson Milking Technology, and Brandon Bioscience, the winner from 2021, who developed a novel seaweed-based crop biostimulant.

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena will be at this year’s National Ploughing Championships, in Ratheniska, Co Laois, from September 19-21 and the deadline for applications is June 2.

For more information:

James Maloney is Senior Development Adviser Agritech Climate and Sustainability, Enterprise Ireland