Recovery Haven Kerry has won the overall prize in the annual Dairymaster innovation awards.
The Tralee-based cancer support house also won the community innovation category. The awards recognise innovations that are of benefit to rural communities.
Eileen Comerford of Recovery Haven said: “We provide psychological and social support, information and a drop-in service for those living with cancer and for their families and carers.”
The farm innovation category was won by Fresh Extend of Co Armagh. Company owner Brian Hampton designed a machine and system to remove ethylene gas from cold rooms.
“The machine and system offers cost-effective solutions to small to large-scale producers and fruit and veg handlers,” he said.
The rural business category was won by SAMCO, owned by Samuel Shine from Adare in Co Limerick.
Mr Shine said: “Samco’s business idea is to provide farmers with a low-cost solution to on-farm storage of high quality fermented feed without the need for drying. The Samco Bag Press is ideal for buffer feeding during the grazing season, storing forage maize, brewer’s grain, chopped sugar beet, and other such products.”
Dr Edmond Harty, CEO of Dairymaster, said: “These awards are all about the people. It’s the people who innovate.
“Innovation is like baking a cake: Once you get the right ingredients, it’s what you do with those ingredients that makes the difference.
“In rural communities and businesses, innovation is the difference between thriving and dying. ”
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