DIT technology wins award at National Ploughing Innovation Arena 2015

SmartChick, an analytics support decision system in poultry farming, won a Software Special Merit Award at the 2015 National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska on Tuesday 22nd September.

DIT Hothouse, the DIT Agricultural Analytics Research Group (AARG) and industry partner PE Services, a local company based in the heart of the poultry sector in Cavan and Monaghan, were presented with the Enterprise Ireland-Toplink.ie Innovation Arena Award by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.

DIT award at National Ploughing Innovation Arena 2015 From L-R: Kilian Cawley, PE Services; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD; Kieran O’Connell, DIT Hothouse; Anna May McHugh, CEO, National Ploughing Association; Justin McCarthy, CEO, Irish Farmers Journal

Announcing the winners, Minister Bruton TD commented: “The agri-food sector is of huge importance to the Irish economy and a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The range and quality of innovations on display here in the Innovation Arena is hugely encouraging. The calibre of the award winners is extremely high and bodes well for the future of the agri sector in Ireland. I warmly congratulate the winners of these Awards, and indeed all the companies exhibiting in the Innovation Arena, and wish them success for the future”.

Dublin Institute of Technology-PE Services was one of 54 exhibitors in the Innovation Arena, selected from a total of 174 applicants, and was one of just eleven award-winners. Speaking on behalf of DIT Hothouse, Kieran O’Connell said: “DIT Hothouse is delighted to have acted as a bridge between PE Services and the DIT Agricultural Analytics Research Group in developing this novel technology for the growing Irish poultry industry. I believe that innovation is about turning ideas into invoices. I would like to thank Enterprise Ireland for their ongoing support of the SmartChick project and congratulate our colleagues in the ITT Dublin MiCRA Centre, who for the second year in a row, were selected as finalists in the Innovation Arena.”

Kilian Cawley, Managing director of PE Services remarked: “PE Services is delighted to be partners with DIT Hothouse and the AARG in the development of the innovative agricultural technology SmartChick. This technology will greatly improve poultry farming in Ireland and worldwide by improving feed conversation rates and reducing mortality rates within poultry. Winning this award serves to strengthen the role of technology within agriculture and is a testament to collaboration with third level institutions and industry. PE Services is looking forward to continuing working with DIT to further the development of this technology for better business and better farming.”

DIT PE Services Innovation Arena Software Award 2015 L-R: Kilian Cawley, PE Services; Kieran O'Connell, DIT Hothouse; Dr. Robert Ross, Dublin Institute of Technology with the Innovation Arena Software Special Merit Award 2015

About SmartChick

SmartChick, an analytics support decision system in poultry farming, is based on an algorithm that monitors existing big data and extrapolates new patterns and trends that can immediately add value to existing poultry farming systems. SmartChick builds on data available in Electronic Control Units (ECUs), which are commonplace on poultry farms, and specifically investigates the real time analysis and reporting of factors affecting Feed Conversion Rates in poultry flocks. The technology is currently being developed by the DIT Agricultural Analytics Research Group (AARG) in partnership with Irish agricultural company, PE Services through the support of DIT Hothouse. The research in this area has been supported over the last two years by Enterprise Ireland through CeADAR and is currently being funded through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme. CeADAR(The Centre for Applied Data Analytics) is a market-focussed technology centre for the delivery of Big Data Analytics and Visualisation to industry. CeADAR is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland and the IDA with funding provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

About The Dublin Region Innovation Consortium

The Dublin Region Innovation Consortium (DRIC) represents DIT, IT Blanchardstown,  ITT Dublin, IADT Dun Laoghaire and National College of Ireland, and is supported by DIT Hothouse, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Office at DIT. This is the second year in a row that a DRIC project has won an Innovation Award at the National Ploughing Championships Innovation Arena. In 2014, BovAlert, a technology developed by the ITT Dublin MiCRA Biodiagnostics Centre and available to license through DIT Hothouse, was the recipient of the Animal Health Award (Start-up Category)

Further Information

To learn more about research collaboration opportunities in the area of analytics for agriculture and food, download the AARG Research Collaboration Flyer. For more about DIT's Innovation Arena Award win, please contact stephen Davis, DIT Hothouse Marketing Manager on 01 402 7144 or email stephen.davis@dit.ie