Six Northern Irish companies have each been awarded funding of £100,000 to take forward projects looking at the sustainable utilisation of livestock slurry.
The competition, launched by the Department of Agriculture (DAERA), aims to reduce surplus phosphorus within the NI agriculture system and ensure efficient recycling of organic nutrients.
The six firms were asked to propose innovative solutions and were awarded £100,000 each to produce practical and technically feasible solutions applicable to NI.
The winning companies are B9 Solutions Ltd; Renewables United; the Centre for Competitiveness/LUCERNE; Blakiston Houston Estate Company; Carbon Technologies Group; Natural World Products.
DAERA said the outcome of the competition had been 'very positive', with the companies outlining 'practical and innovative' technological solutions for sustainable utilisation of livestock slurry in NI.
"The firms developed practical and economic models where livestock slurry can be separated, with minimal nitrogen and methane losses, to produce feedstock for renewable energy, in a bio secure manner," the department said.
"This feedstock can then be used for biogas or biomethane production via anaerobic digestion (AD) to decarbonise the electricity and gas networks in NI.
"Research was also focused on technologies to extract nutrients from the process to produce replacements for chemical fertilisers or to produce compost for use in NI or for export.
"All solutions will require close engagement with farmers and AD plants, as well as the development of export markets for the end products."