Proveye Named Start-Up Innovator of the Year at 2023 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards

Pictured (l-r); Jenny Melia and Carol Gibbons, Enterprise Ireland; Minister Coveney TD, Anna May McHugh, National Ploughing Association; Kieran O'Donoghue, AgriTech Ireland; Jerome O'Connell and Paul Kennedy, Proveye and Leo Clancy, Enterprise Ireland.

Proveye Named Start-Up Innovator of the Year at 2023 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards

- Agri Data Analytics wins AgTechUCD Start-Up Award

The winners of the 2023 Innovation Arena competition, hosted by Enterprise Ireland in association with the National Ploughing Association, were announced yesterday evening at an awards ceremony attended by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois.

The competition recognises innovative and cutting-edge products and services from agritech entrepreneurs who are delivering forward-thinking solutions to address some of the toughest global challenges.

Among the announced award winners is Proveye, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company headquartered at NovaUCD. The company was named winner of the Start-Up Innovator of the Year Award, the Award for the best overall start-up at the competition, and received a €10,000 prize for its AI-powered digital image analysis platform.

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said, “The Innovation Arena competition is a landmark exhibition platform and competition, as it brings together ambitious agri-innovators every year. Ireland is synonymous with agriculture, and it is our own entrepreneurs who are helping to shape the future of the sector globally. With the ongoing challenges and the need to develop and implement sustainable practices, the work of these Irish innovators has never been more vital.”

Proveye, an Enterprise Ireland high-potential start-up (HPSU), was founded by Jerome O’Connell and Professor Nick Holden, as a spin-out from the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering.

The company provides an intelligent enterprise SaaS platform combining pioneering image processing for multiple remote sensing sources with AI and machine learning. It is used by agricultural advisors, fertiliser and pesticide suppliers and food processors to provide fast and accurate information about productivity and sustainability on agricultural land to their farmer customers.

Earlier this year Proveye announced that it has closed a €1 million seed funding round, led by Inspire Investments and Enterprise Ireland, to advance the company’s growth strategy.

Proveye was also named winner of the Ace Agritech Centre of Excellence Award.

At the Awards ceremony Agri Data Analytics, based in Co. Offaly, was named winner of the AgTechUCD Start-up Award. Agri Data Analytics, founded by Jack Pilkington and Joseph Alan O'Donovan, is focused on developing devices for reducing methane emissions.

Pictured (l-r); Anne Fitzpatrick, Enterprise Ireland; Niamh Collins, Director, AgTechUCD; Minister Simon Coveney TD; Anna May McHugh, National Ploughing Association; Jack Pilkington and Joseph Alan O'Donovan, Agri Data Analytics; Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and Leo McGrane, Manager, AgTechUCD.

By winning this Award the company has secured a place on AgTechUCD’s third dedicated 12-week accelerator programme for AgTech and Agri-food start-ups with global potential, which commences next month.

Proveye completed the inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme and was named the Ornua Most Innovative AgTech Start-up 2022 at the end of the Programme.

The Awards ceremony, which was also attended by Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, and Anna May McHugh, Managing Director, National Ploughing Association, saw GrassMax, the world’s first temperate climate grassland management tool, win the overall Established Innovator of the Year Award.

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said, “Irish agri-tech companies continue to have an influential impact internationally with their cutting-edge products and services that are helping to bring greater efficiencies across agriculture. I would like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s Innovation Arena Awards for their achievements, and I would also like to thank all the participants and entrepreneurs who entered this year’s competition, these are the products and services which are shaping the future of this industry and are delivering real solutions.”

Anna May McHugh, Managing Director, National Ploughing Association, said, “The NPA is delighted to host the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena again at this year’s National Ploughing Championships, which provides an excellent opportunity for innovators in the agri-tech and agri-engineering space to showcase their products and services at Europe’s largest outdoor event. The standard, once again, was exceptionally high, and I want to congratulate all of today’s winners and wish them all the best for the future on this great achievement.”

The application process for the 2023 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, which is focused on early-stage start-ups with innovative products and services in the AgTech, agri-food, equine and veterinary sectors, and who have ambition to grow globally, is still open.

The 12-week intensive hybrid programme, which starts in mid-October, includes dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from industry experts and business advisors, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital and business angel networks.

The sponsors of the 2023 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme are; AIB, FBD Insurance, Ornua and The Yield Lab.


20 September 2023

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, NovaUCD, e:

Editors Notes

The 2023 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Award winners are;

Overall Innovator of the Year - Established - GrassMax (Dublin)

Start-up Innovator of the Year - Proveye (NovaUCD, Dublin)

Agri-Engineering Award - Malone Farm Machinery (Mayo)

Smart Farming Award - Pearson Milking Technology (Kildare)

Crop Technology Award - Beotanics (Kilkenny)

Agri-Safety Award - M-TEC Engineering (Cavan)

Young Innovator of the Year - TrojanTrack (Dublin)

IFAC Best New-Comer - Livefarm (Carlow)

Ace Agritech Centre of Excellence Award - Proveye (NovaUCD, Dublin)

On Farm Innovation (Alfred Cox Founder's Perpetual Trophy) - SpreadPoint (Down)

Research Emerging from 3rd Level Award - PolyBo (Westmeath)

Farm Software Award - Herdwatch (Tipperary)

AgTechUCD Start Up Award - Agri Data Analytics (Offaly)

Farm Automation Award - Dairymaster (Kerry)

AgriTech Award - Abbey Farm Machinery (Tipperary).