Cork students get innovative

The Agri Aware Green Dragon Secondary Schools Innovation Challenge is back and is set to once again entice young Cork innovators to develop original and ground breaking ideas. Students are encouraged to develop the concept of a new product or service within three sectors with huge potential for development, namely: food, agriculture and the environment. 25 finalists from all over the country will battle it out at the national final in March 2011 for the highly coveted prize of a development fund worth €8,000.

Agri Aware with the support of Bord Bia and AIB Bank is calling on second level students of all ages to look outside their classroom, identify a gap in one of these three sectors and apply what they have learned to the real world. Students nationwide will pitch their ideas to the Green Dragons with the hope of following in the footsteps of last year’s highly successful winner, Paul Bowden. Paul’s One Hand Reel invention is patent pending and production details are currently being finalised. The Green Dragon panel is a specially selected group of industry leaders in innovation.

Minister of State at The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Sean Connick TD said “the agri-food industry will be one of the drivers of our economic recovery and the Green Dragon project is a way of getting our young people to take an innovative approach to our most important indigenous industry.”

Speaking on the importance of the Green Dragon Innovation Challenge, Agri Aware Chairman Bernard Donohue commented, “These students are the country’s future. They are a generation brimming with talent and potential. The Green Dragon provides them with an opportunity to realise this in a fun, innovative way while giving them valuable life experience and skills they can take with them and build on where ever they go in life”.

Teresa Brophy, Manager Ireland Market, Bord Bia commented, “The Green Dragon is a wonderful opportunity for students to get creative with an abundance of Irelands natural food resources. It also gives them a chance to learn about the Quality Assurance Mark, which ensures the foods they are buying are produced with pride and care, and can be traced back to the farm where it came from”.

Michael Dowling, Head of Agri Strategy, AIB Bank remarked, “The Food, Agri and Environment sectors have undoubted potential for growth and creative, energetic and innovative young people are best positioned to identify these opportunities. The Green Dragon initiative provides a platform from which these ideas can grow”.

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