The recipient of this year's Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards winner has been named as Michael Malone from Malone Farm Machinery in Co Mayo. 

The company's winning entry is The Malone Express, a 16 bale trailer which can accommodate 16 round bales on a chassis that is shorter than other comparable machines on the market.

This makes the implement easier to manoeuvre while accommodating a large quantity of bales.

The best overall start-up award went to Shane Kiernan from AI and Robotics company Iamus Technologies based in NovaUCD Dublin.

Iamus Technologies is collaborating with a large poultry processor and using its technology to continuously gather data from birds, providing feedback that could save the poultry industry billions of euros every year. 

Now in its tenth year, Enterprise Ireland's Innovation Arena showcases ground-breaking agri-related products and innovations from Irish agri-companies at the National Ploughing Championships.

However, this year’s competition was moved fully online due to the cancellation of the Ploughing Championships as a result of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

More than 60 entries were received for this year's awards competition with the top 30 selected for virtual pitching.  

The overall and best start-up award winners will receive €5,000 each. 

The Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said that Enterprise Ireland's annual Innovation Arena Awards represent the future of Irish agri-tech and highlight new product development as well as the innovative agri-tech and agri-engineering capability in the Irish agriculture sector.

"Ireland's innovative contribution to advances in agri-business is recognised globally and we are leading the way with technology solutions that improve efficiencies through greater automation," Mr English said. 

"This puts us in a great position to take advantage of the significant overseas opportunities for this sector which will help to drive economic growth," he added.

There were 12 Award category winners including:

Agricultural Engineering Award (Established Company) and Overall Innovation Arena Winner - Micheal Malone, Malone Farm Machinery, Mayo

Alfie Cox Best Start-Up Award - Shane Kiernan, Iamus Technologies Ltd, Dublin

Agricultural Engineering (Start-Up Company) and IFAC Best New Comer Award - Micheal McInerney, StrongBó Agritech, Galway

Sustainable Agriculture - Alvan Hunt, Hexafly, Meath

Young Innovator - Alanna McCabe (14 years), Fence DeFence, Cavan

Farm Safety (Established Company) - Peter McMahon, Dromone Engineering Ltd, Meath

Micro Engineering Award - William Pius McCloat, SUIP Manufacturing Company Ltd, Sligo

On Farm Innovation - Peter O'Sullivan, Bullseye Engineering, Wicklow

Farm Software Award - Pierce Dargan, Equine MediRecord, Kildare

Farm Safety Start Up Company - Philip Dickson, Dickson Agri Solutions, Westmeath