Shortlist of 18 named for leading awards
The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards is nearing its conclusion
The search for the most innovative organisations across the island of Ireland moved a step closer with the announcement of the shortlist of 18 organisations selected for The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards, now in its fourth year.
The shortlist features 18 entries from innovators in start-ups, academia and established companies, from both North and South.
Among the shortlisted firms in the Creative Industries category is Co Down-based Choc-o-Bloc, which has developed a new way of heating Belgian chocolate that makes it soft and mouldable without melting, allowing people to build chocolate models as edible gifts or treats; vStream, a Dublin-based digital marketing and software development firm that organised an enormously popular “5D” Christmas event for the world’s largest shopping centre chain; and the University of Ulster, which has created a fire-blast protection system with 12 times more ductility than its closest competitor.
In the Agri-Food category, the shortlisted companies are Goatsbridge Trout Farm, a Kilkenny-based firm that produces farm-fresh Irish rainbow trout fillets and trout caviar; and Co Offaly-based organic yogurt maker Glenisk, which has developed a successful range of unsweetened yogurts with particular focus on the baby and children’s markets. In addition there is Mash Direct Ltd, a Co Down-based company that has developed a range of healthy quick-serve vegetable meals.
In the Life Sciences category, APICA Cardiovascular, a Galway-based medical devices firm, has developed a cost-effective and successful treatment for the most common heart valve disease. It is joined by Innopharma Labs, a Dublin-based provider of technology and education solutions to the pharmaceutical development and manufacturing industry, which has created a 3D particle characteriser which monitors powders as they bind together and claims to save tablet-producing firms more than €1 million a year. In addition there is Horseware Products, a Dundalk-based equestrian business that has developed Ice-Vibe boots: rechargeable vibrating boots that boost circulation in horses’ legs.
In the Business Services category the shortlist features Sonru.com, a Wexford-based firm that provides remote-video services, which has created an automated video interview process now in use by the likes of Volvo, Nestlé, Qatar Airways and Cern, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics and home to Higgs boson research.
Another finalist is Nightline, a same-day delivery and courier services firm based in Dublin, which launched its Parcel Motel terminals last summer to reduce the cost of delivery for online shoppers.
In addition the shortlist features Tickets.ie, a Dublin-based independent provider of fully outsourced ticketing services, which has created an innovative satellite ticketing operation now in use by the GAA.
In the Green Tech category, the finalists are Trustwater, a Co Tipperary-based manufacturer of alternative cleaning and disinfection technologies, has developed a system for bottling plants that dramatically reduces energy and water use; Glen Dimplex, the Louth-based designer and manufacturer of heating products, with its new thermal energy storage system that can cut energy costs by 25 per cent; and Climote, a Dundalk-based company which has developed a home heating system that lets homeowners manage and control their heating remotely via web or phone app from anywhere in the world.