All Ireland Business Innovation Awards

FitzGerald Nurseries Ltd has been shortlisted for a National Innovation Award from a nationwide and Island wide group of small, medium and large multi-national companies.

This is great honour for us. Especially as small family farm based rural business to be included with mainstream high tech multi-national companies with specific dedicated R&D companies. I believe this shows that Ireland is now more serious about building its economy to include a second tier of indigenous and niche developed small export focused businesses. As a small enterprise owners operating in an international marketplace dependent on 90% of our sales from exports it is essential that we develop products specific to our company but profitable and fit for our customers purposes. Therefore we must have systems and strategies to ensure this happens at all levels of our economy not just for the large corporate. This is just as essential for a small rural business as it is for multi-national.
FitzGerald Nurseries are proud to be the recipient of this recognition if only to establish a basic principal that Ireland must develop enterprise brick by brick and not in large loose insecure towers of Babel. This innovation must come from the companies on the ground and cannot come from state services but can be supported by them through policy and reform of business categorization.. I would like to thank the Irish Times and Inter Trade Ireland Innovation Awards judging panel for looking deeper into what we do by way of product development.

I would like to thank all who have believed in and supported our efforts over the last few years to develop such a business model and hope this shortlisting gives some recognition to this trust in us.
Extract from official announcment follows.

The Irish Times and InterTradeIreland has (28th February 2011) published the shortlist of companies who will compete for the ‘Innovation of the Year’ title at the All-island Innovation Awards 2011 to be held on March 2nd in Dublin.

Kilkenny based FitzGerald Nurseries has been nominated in the Organisational Systems/Process category for developing a range of plants that has changed the focus of the business from sales on the Irish market to sales worldwide, by using plant sciences and Intellectual Property registration.  The firm has brought together science IP registration and scaled production and has gone on to access 18 international markets. It has also registered seven difference plant breeders rights.

Speaking at the announcement, Managing Director, Pat FitzGerald said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted in the Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards. It is a real boost for the company as FitzGerald Nurseries has developed a significant enhancement to our product which has changed the way we do business and has opened up international markets for us, improving our capability to drive new revenue streams.”

Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy and Policy at InterTradeIreland commented: “FitzGerald Nurseries is an excellent example of product innovation in action.  The judging panel has been extremely impressed by the scale and depth of new ideas and talent across a variety of industries on the island. The quality of entries into this competition would certainly indicate that Irish businesses are now ahead of the curve internationally and that other countries can look to Ireland for best practice in innovation.”

The judging panel for this year’s innovation awards includes Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland, Professor Frank Roche, UCD Smurfit Business School, Tim Cody, Accenture, Sean Wallace, Byrne Wallace, Dr Graham Love, SFI and Michael McAleer, The Irish Times Innovation Magazine.

Now in its second year, The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards aims to recognise and promote the best service, product or operational innovations throughout the island. The finalists from across the island were selected by an independent panel of judges to secure a place at the final and a chance to win the overall ‘Innovation of the Year’ award and a communications and advertising package from the Irish Times worth €200,000.

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