Entries are open for the 2021 Fieldays Innovation Awards, that have been refined to clearly represent the innovation lifecycle, resulting in three award categories: Prototype, Early Stage, and Growth & Scale.
Chief exectuive Peter Nation says the enforced cancellation in 2020 had been tough on the coffers, as besides National Fieldays, the operation was in the business of running numerous other events that had to be cancelled.
"Feedback is telling us that Fieldays 2021 will be bigger and better than ever, with farmers and exhibitors both telling us that they are itching to reconnect in both a social and business sense. Indeed, with the rural sector travelling well and a good-looking milksolid payout, it bodes well for some good business to be done," says Nation.
Scheduled for June 16-19, National Fieldays will be based around its key pillars of innovation, education and globalisation. While the latter will be taken care of by the parallel-running Fieldays Online presence, a smattering of countries such as Ireland, the UK and Korea will have a physical presence. The society notes that while there are still a few exhibitors booking sites at this late stage, it looks like it will be a sell-out by the time of the event.
On the education front, Taryn Storey, Fieldays marketing and communications manager, says there will be improvements in many areas including the Health and Wellbeing Exhibit that had over 26,000 visitors in 2019.
"The exhibit certainly proved its worth in 2019 where staff picked up eleven malignant melanomas, one case of Type-1 diabetes and numerous issues that warranted a trip to see a GP. It was also encouraging to see a number of wives and partners dragging their staunch other halves into the exhibit for a subtle 'WOF'."
Likewise, the careers and education hub will be expanded with several new exhibitors and agencies to offer inforamtion on a wide range of opportunities in the rural sector and the best course to follow to exploit these.
The popular innovations arena has also seen a refocus, to clearly represent the innovation life-cycle, resulting in three award categories: prototype, early stage, and growth & scale. This range of categories is said to allow individuals and companies, big or small, to get the support, recognition, and mentoring they require to take their innovation to the next level.
Fieldays innovations event manager, Gail Hendricks, says the changing conditions globally makes innovation a "top priority for businesses far and wide, especially for primary industries in terms of providing sustainable and productive solutions that drive economic progress."
Up for grabs are two $10,000 cash prizes, alongside prize packages from Fieldays Innovations sponsors Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Gait International.
Covid compliance is a must-have, and Fieldays will have extensive log-in facilities and copious sanitiser stations.