Concept Dairy Wins AgTechUCD Start-Up Award at 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards

Pictured (l-r); Cepta Duffy, Senior Development Adviser, Enterprise Ireland; Anna May McHugh, MD, National Ploughing Association; Jacqueline Fitzgerald, Concept Dairy; Niamh Collins, Director, AgTechUCD and Diarmaid Mac Colgáin, Concept Dairy.

Concept Dairy Wins AgTechUCD Start-Up Award at 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and National Ploughing Association Managing Director Anna May McHugh have today announced the winners of the 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards competition in association with the National Ploughing Association (NPA).

Among the award winners is Concept Dairy, an agri-fintech start-up, based in Dublin, which was named winner of the AgTechUCD Start-up Award. By winning this Award Concept Dairy has secured a place on AgTechUCD’s dedicated 12-week accelerator programme for AgTech and Agri-food start-ups with global potential, which commences in October.

Concept Dairy, founded by Diarmaid Mac Colgáin and Jacqueline Fitzgerald, is focused on transforming the dairy industry to create a transparent and fair platform where farmers can choose what price they will get for their milk, processors are able to refocus on processing rather than trading prices and buyers receive efficiency and value.

The company’s milk pricing app currently available and free for farmers, provides live accurate market prices for milk that are updated daily showing farmers what their milk is really worth. Farmers can lock-in their milk price when they choose, and can opt-in to pay a fee to get the benefit from rising market prices above the minimum price they have locked-in.

Concept Dairy has also developed a risk management platform for milk processors, which is focused on tracking and processing all physical and financial risk in one place.  The platform enables processors to understand their full risk profile, manage and mitigate future risks to protect the business, creating less negative impact on farmer’s milk prices.

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

Diarmaid Mac Colgáin, co-founder, Concept Dairy, said, “We are delighted and honoured that Concept Dairy was named winner of the AgTechUCD Start-Up Award at the 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards as part of the National Ploughing Championship. The AgTech start-up space is highly competitive, so it is fantastic to receive this validation for Concept Dairy and our mission to create a transparent and equitable dairy supply chain with long-term sustainability.”

Diarmaid added, “Our next area of focus is to bring the app and risk management platform into new markets outside of Ireland, positively disrupting the $1trillion dairy market to benefit farmers and processors alike.”

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.

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. 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.

Pearson Milking Technology, the Co. Kildare-based manufacturer of milking parlours and robotic systems, was named this year’s overall Innovation Arena Awards winner. Their 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. Identifying a cow’s BCS during breeding is an important task as it is vital in optimising a farm's milk production.

The best overall start-up award went to Dublin-based 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.

Among the other awardees was Cotter Agritech, a Limerick-based start-up which specialises in targeted, selective treatment systems for sheep, winner of the IFAC Best New-Comer Award. Earlier this year Cotter Agritech completed the inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme and was named winner of the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2022 Award at the end of the programme.

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

She added, “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.”

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.

Applications for the 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme close on 26 September. The programme 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.


19 September 2022

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

Editors Notes

The 2022 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Award winners are;

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

AgTechUCD 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.