Pictured, from left, are Fearghail Connolly, Mike Malone, James Maloney from Enterprise Ireland, Jarlath Malone and Simon Gilbert.

Mayo's Malone Farm Machinery win top innovation award

MAYO-BASED Malone Farm Machinery has won the top award in the 2020 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards competition in association with the National Ploughing Association.

From sustainable Black Soldier Fly farming to a Third Arm for farm safety, the most innovative Irish agri-tech and agri-engineering products have been announced by Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English.

This year’s overall Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards winner was Michael Malone from Malone Farm Machinery.

The Mayo 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.

Malones also won the Agricultural Engineering Award (Established Company) award.

View video here: https://youtu.be/tBLfgqNvVe0.

For the first time in its 10-year history, the Innovation Arena Awards took place online, with shortlisted innovators pitching their groundbreaking designs to a virtual judging panel over the course of two days.

Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena traditionally showcases ground-breaking agri-related products and innovations from Irish agri-companies at the National Ploughing Championships, but this year’s competition was moved fully online due to the cancellation of the event as a result of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Winners of this year’s awards are automatically eligible to exhibit in the 2020 winners enclosure section at the Innovation Arena in 2021.

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

National Ploughing Association managing director Anna May McHugh said: “My congratulations to all of the Innovation Arena Award winners and particularly Malone Farm Machinery as the overall winner. This is quite an achievement given the high quality and standard of all the exciting entries for this year’s awards.

“Over the years, we have seen the innovation arena at the National Ploughing Championships grow and grow as it offers a significant and unique platform for global business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and innovators in the agri-tech and agri-engineering space.”

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