Tipperary’s Woodco Renewable Energy wins at Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards 2019 at National Ploughing Championships

From new machinery to cow recognition software solutions for farmers, the most innovative Irish agri-tech and agri-engineering products were named this evening by Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and National Ploughing Association Managing Director Anna May McHugh. They presented the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards at an international networking event, ahead of tomorrow’s National Ploughing Championships.

Tipperary's Woodco Renewable Energy wins at Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards 2019 at National Ploughing ChampionshipsRepresenting the future of Irish agri-tech, the awards recognise innovative agri-tech and agri-engineering capability and new product development in the agriculture sector.

Woodco Renewable Energy based in Donaskeigh, Co. Tipperary won the Agri-Environmental Award. Woodco Renewable Energy specialises in efficient energy production. They manufacture, supply and support a wide range of Biomass Boiler systems, including both commercial and domestic boiler systems and WID compliant waste to heat boiler systems.

The overall Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards winner was Dairymaster Mission Control from Causeway, Co. Kerry. Dairymaster Mission Control has introduced artificial intelligence to rotary milking. Features include ‘CowNow’ which is an advanced cow recognition system. The OptiCruise technology incorporated into the design adjusts the speed of milking so that milking time is optimized. It also identifies the history of each individual cow, predicts its milk out time and combines it with the milk out time of the cows already featured on the problem.

Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena, in association with the National Ploughing Association, showcases ground-breaking agri-related products and innovations from 50 Irish agri-companies, acting as a funnel for agri-tech innovation in Ireland.

Visitors to the Innovation Arena will also find the very latest in innovative, contemporary plant engineering and farm equipment design on display in the new ‘Machinery Yard’.

This year sees a bigger international involvement, with over 100 buyers and international media from 12 countries attending events throughout the championships.

Almost 100 applications to exhibit were received with the top 50 exhibitors selected, all of whom were finalists in the Awards competition. Exhibitors participated in the ‘Bootcamp Innovation Challenge’ held at Kildalton Agricultural College in July to prepare for the Innovation Arena.

Announcing the winners at the international networking event in the Innovation Arena, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said: “The Innovation Arena Awards showcase the future of agri-business and offer Irish agri-innovations a world stage. This is Enterprise Ireland’s sixth year co-hosting the Innovation Arena and during this time we have brought in over 500 international buyers to the Arena. Each year we see significant progress in the innovative agri-products and services on display. Ireland’s innovative contribution to advances in agri-business is recognised globally and we look forward to welcoming over 100 international buyers, investors and journalists from the Eurozone, Asia Pacific and North America to the Innovation Arena over the next few days. There is clear evidence of the value and potential of the agri-sector to drive economic growth and Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting the global ambition of our agri-sector by looking to new markets and overseas growth opportunities.”

National Ploughing Association Managing Director, Anna May McHugh said: “My congratulations to all of the Innovation Arena Award winners and particularly Dairymaster Mission Control as the overall winner. This is quite an achievement given the high quality and standard of all the exciting entries being showcased here at Europe’s largest outdoor event. Over the years, we have seen the Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships grow as it offers a significant platform for global business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and innovators in the agri-tech and agri-engineering space.”

Award Winners:

Overall winner (Established company category):

Dairymaster Mission Control, Causeway, Co. Kerry

Anna May McHugh Female Leadership in Agriculture Perpetual Trophy:

Caroline Keeling, CEO, Keelings

Agri-Engineering Start-Up:

The Cotter Crate, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick

Agri-Engineering Established Company:

SAMCO, Silage Wheel Loader Extensions, Adare, Co. Limerick

Agri-Technology Start-Up:

FarmEye, Oranmore, Co. Galway

Agri-Technology Established Company:

Dairymaster Mission Control, Causeway, Co. Kerry


Woodco Renewable Energy, Tipperary


Research Emerging from Third-Level:

Micron Agritech, Tástáil, Dublin

IFAC best newcomer award, exclusively for 1st time participants:

HerdEye, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

One-to-watch Award:

Beotanics Ltd, Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny


The winners of the following special awards will be announced at the Innovation Arena on Wednesday 18 September:

  • Alfred Cox Founder’s Cup Perpetual Trophy, overall winner of the best start-up innovation – €5,000 cash prize plus mentoring valued at €5,000
  • Best Investor Pitch – €1,000 cash prize
  • Safety Award
  • Young Innovator of the year
  • International Award

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