The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre has today announced the nine start-ups which have been selected to participate in University College Dublin's new accelerator programme dedicated to early-stage AgTech and FoodTech start-up companies.

The inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme is an intensive 12-week virtual programme.

It includes dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from AgTech and FoodTech experts and business advisors, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD's venture capital and business angel networks.

Participating start-ups are based in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Roscommon, Westmeath as well as Northern Ireland and Tunisia.

Programme applications were also received from start-ups based in Chile, Croatia, England, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, The Netherlands and Ukraine.

The participating start-ups in the programme are:

Cotter Agritech is developing the Cotter Crate, a sheep handling and monitoring system to transform how sheep farmers care for their animals. The founders of Cotter Agritech, based in Limerick, are brothers Jack and Nick Cotter.

CropHound uses remote sensors and artificial intelligence to monitor crop health, growing conditions and crop potential from planting to harvest giving early insights and recommendations to users. Based in Belfast, CropHound's founder is Mark Elliott.

FodderBox has developed and built a fully-fitted, self-contained, computer-controlled fodder production system that arrives on-site, ready to plug-and-play. The founder of FodderBox, based in Cork, is Ella Goddin.

FreshGraze has developed a robotic moving fence and management system which portions out new pasture to grazing animals as they require it. The founders of FreshGraze, based in Co Westmeath, are Thomas Drumm and his sons Charlie and James.

Izario has developed an autonomous poultry robot that operates in broiler-breeder and commercial egg-laying hen houses. The founders of Izario, based in Galway, are Raymond Heneghan and Stepan Dzhanov.

Niskus BioTec is focused on the provision of innovative products and services to the agri-food and biotech sectors in fungal large-scale solid-state fermentation. The founder of Niskus BioTec, based in Donegal, is Vincent Farrelly.

Positive Carbon is developing food waste monitoring technology for the food service industry. The founders of Positive Carbon, based in Roscommon, are Aisling Kirwan and Mark Kirwan.

ProvEye, a spin-out from the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, provides advanced processing software to derive quantitative data from images, collected by drones and other platforms, at unprecedented levels of accuracy. The founders of ProvEye, based in Dublin, are Dr Jerome O’Connell and Dr Nick Holden.

SmartBeeKeeper is developing SmartBee a cutting-edge hardware and software platform to enable beekeepers monitor and track their beehives. Its founder is Khaled Bouchoucha and he is based in Tunisia.

Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, NovaUCD, said he was delighted with the calibre and global potential of the start-ups selected to participate in the inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme.

"The programme received applications from all across Ireland, and indeed from all around the world. This highlights the demand for this accelerator programme in Ireland and the interest from international start-ups underscores Ireland's leading reputation in the AgTech and FoodTech sectors," Mr Flanagan added.