Tipperary-based firm Trustwater has won this year's Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation of The Year Award, having developed a unique system used by bottling plants that dramatically reduces energy and water usage. The firm already works globally with some of the biggest names in the drinks industry, which use its patented cleaning application.
The system has been tested and validated at a major US beverage plant and the regulator, and the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has given its consent for the process to be used in the food and beverage industry.
“The plant in the US where the system is in use has been able to increase production by 25 per cent since installing it”, according to Trustwater chief technology officer Kevin Keane.
The firm also took first place in the GreenTech sector at the awards event held in Belfast last night. Over 200 people braved the snow to attend the awards at the Titanic Building in the city.
Other winners included Co Down-based Choc-O-Bloc, which picked up the creative industries award for its Magic Choc product. It has already taken the UK toy market by storm and is building international sales in more than 40 countries worldwide, including Greece, Russia, Singapore, Spain and South Africa, with China about to come online.
In the life sciences category, Galway firm Apica Cardiovascular won for its new treatment for heart valve diseases. Goatsbridge Trout Farm won the agri-food category, while Sonru. com, which provides remote video services for interviews, picked up the business services award.
The social innovation category was won by Antrim firm Fast Engineering for its portable tap stand designed for emergency response in disaster zones. The best North/South collaboration category was won by Climote, which has developed remote heating control system.
More than 300 initial registrations were received in this year’s awards, with 18 shortlisted firms making it through to the final judging.
Speaking at the event last night, Dr Chris Horn, who chaired the final judging panel, said the entries highlighted the talent at work in Ireland despite the tough economic climate.