Thursday, 30 May 2024 11:55

Innovation Awards entrants a step closer to a win

Written by  Staff Reporters
Showcased at the Fieldays 2024 Innovation Hub, the Awards is a ‘launch pad’ for primary innovation in New Zealand and a globally renowned awards programme. Showcased at the Fieldays 2024 Innovation Hub, the Awards is a ‘launch pad’ for primary innovation in New Zealand and a globally renowned awards programme.

Entries for the 2024 Fieldays Innovation Awards have been announced.

The 64 entries range from something as modest in size as a wool plaster to something as large as an autonomous grapevine pruner, coming from Hamilton to as far away as Ireland.

The 64 participants have made it to the next stage of judging, and a step closer to a share of a total prize package of cash, services, and products worth more than $70,000 to help launch or accelerate their new product.

Showcased at the Fieldays 2024 Innovation Hub, the Awards is a ‘launch pad’ for primary innovation in New Zealand and a globally renowned awards programme.

Judged by a panel of 15 sector experts who represent a wide range of experience from around the NZ ‘innovation ecosystem’, organisers say this year’s Awards will showcase some of the most innovative ideas and technologies aimed at the agricultural industry.

“This year we had the most entries we’ve had in the last 10 years,” says Fieldays programme manager Steve Chappell.

“It’s superb to see so many great entries of such a high calibre again, and in the Award’s 56th year, it really is inspiring to see. I’m impressed with the ideas coming through this year, and I’m sure the visitors and investors will be too.”

There are 27 participants in the prototype category, 21 in the earlystage category and 16 in the growth & scale category. Five participants are also in the running for the Young Innovator of the Year award for entrants 19 years old and under.

The 2024 Awards sees the introduction of a new judging process, with first round judging happening now, and a short-list of finalists in each category due to be announced soon. Those finalists will participate in both an online judging pre-event and onsite judging at Fieldays.

“This year, we’re also adding a special twist to our Innovation Awards: A People’s Choice Award” says Chappell.

“All participants are in the running for this award. The innovator with the most votes will take home a $2,000 cash prize, while one lucky voter will win a voucher for $500.”

Visitors can vote by tapping their Fieldays Smart Band at the kiosk located inside the Fieldays Innovation Hub during the event.

The participants’ innovations can be viewed at the Fieldays Innovation Hub at Mystery Creek, Hamilton between 12 – 15 June. Additionally, the Fieldays Innovation Trail layer can be turned on in the Fieldays App to explore Innovation Awards entries at the exhibitor’s sites.

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