Pearson Milking wins 2022 Innovation Arena Awards

Pearson Milking named winners of 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards in association with the National Ploughing Championships.

This year’s overall Innovation Arena Awards winner was Co Kildare-based manufacturer of milking parlours and robotic systems Pearson Milking Technology.

Their new winning invention – ‘Bullseye’ – provides a real time Body Condition Scoring (BCS) of dairy cattle which is based on an automated visual inspection of the fat around the pin bones of the cow.

“A strong farming heritage and cutting-edge technologies have made Ireland a global centre for agri-tech quality and innovation”

Identifying a cow’s BCS during breeding is an important task as it is vital in optimising a farm’s milk production. The ‘Bullseye’ invention drives innovation through the automation and delivers benefits to farms as it frees up resources, improves overall outputs and increases efficiencies, contributing to sustained food production and addressing the challenge of labour shortages on farms. 

The best overall start-up award went to Micron Agritech which provides rapid on-site parasite testing for grazing animals. The company’s new invention – ‘the Rapid Liver Fluke Test’ – allows farmers to easily test livestock for liver fluke on-site through its ‘Micron Kit’ app, with results delivered in minutes using AI analysis. Infections in livestock by liver fluke are a major economic problem for farmers, reducing yield and leading to significant treatment costs, as well as representing a serious animal welfare issue. Micron Agritech’s innovation provides an efficient, reliable solution to this issue, which often goes undetected. 

For the last two years, the Innovation Arena Awards have been held virtually. However, this year sees the return of the hugely popular live and interactive ‘Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena’ at the three-day National Ploughing Championship, which is being held in Ratheniska, Co Laois, from tomorrow (Tues), September 20th to Thursday, 22nd September.

Ploughing ahead

“A strong farming heritage and cutting-edge technologies have made Ireland a global centre for agri-tech quality and innovation,” said Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

“By focusing on greater efficiency across every aspect of modern agriculture, Irish agri-tech businesses are delivering forward-thinking solutions to address some of the industry’s greatest challenges and changing demands. The positive impacts that these solutions will have on future global agriculture, particularly in relation to environmental, sustainability and digitalisation, are inspiring. 

“These advances are reflected in today’s Innovation Arena Awards, which showcase the ingenuity and talent of Irish farm experts, entrepreneurs and businesses on a world stage. Congratulations to all the awards winners, and particularly Pearson Milking Technology as this year’s overall winner. At Enterprise Ireland we look forward to working with the winners and finalists as they start, innovate, and scale their businesses, grow exports internationally and create jobs in Ireland.”

In association with the National Ploughing Association, Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena will showcase ground-breaking agri-related products and innovations from 60 Irish agri-companies, including the winners of the 2020/21 Innovation Arena Awards.  And over 100 buyers and international media from 19 countries will also be attending events at the Innovation Arena throughout the week.

80 applications to exhibit at the Innovation Arena were received and the top 40 exhibitors selected to exhibit were all finalists in the Awards competition. 

The total prize fund for this year’s award winners is in excess of €25,000, including a two top prizes of €5,000 for the Established Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ and the Start-up Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ for 2022. 

“Congratulations to all of the Innovation Arena Award winners and particularly Pearson Milking Technology as the overall winner this year,” said National Ploughing Association Managing Director, Anna May McHugh. “This is a remarkable achievement given the high standard and calibre of entries being showcased this year.

“We’re delighted to collaborate once again with Enterprise Ireland on the Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships, which provides an excellent opportunity for budding entrepreneurs and innovators in the agri-tech and agri-engineering space to showcase their product at Europe’s largest outdoor event.” 

Award Winners:

Established Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ 2022

Pearson Milking Technology, Kildare

Start-up Company ‘Innovator of the Year Award’ 2022

Micron Agritech, Dublin 

Agri-Engineering – Established Company:

Unison Process Solutions, Limerick 

Agri-Technology Award:

Lvlogics Limited, Meath 

Sustainable Agriculture Award:

Goldcrop Ltd, Cork 

Agri-Safety Award:, Kerry 

Young Innovation of the Year:  

Michael Clarke – Clarke Agri Engineering, Mayo 

IFAC Best New-Comer:

Cotter Crate, Limerick 

UCD AgTech Start Up Award:

Concept Dairy, Dublin   

Animal Health Award – Established:  

Terra Nutritech, Kildare  

Animal Health Award – Start-Up:   

Micron Agritech, Dublin  

Alfie Cox On Farm Innovation Award:  

PGM Technologies, Kilkenny  

Farm Automation Award: 

Pearson Milking Technology, Kildare 

Smart Farming:

Alfco Censortec, Kerry  

Research Emerging from a 3rd Level Award:   

Tyndall National Institute 

Lead International Entry:   

Pondus, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Farm Software Award: 

MartEye Limited, Galway 

Main image at top: Lee Wilson, David Pearson and Lloyd Pearson of Pearsons Milking Technology

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.