Three high-tech horticultural robots made their appearance at this year's National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.
Fieldays Innovations Event Manager, Gail Hendricks, says “ its no surprise that innovation has become a top priority for businesses, especially for primary industries in terms of providing sustainable and productive solutions that drive economic progress.
The Fieldays Innovation Awards entries will be on display in the new and enhanced Fieldays Innovation Hub, where entrants can test their innovation and connect with potential customers, industry professionals, investors, and corporate decision makers. In the Innovation Hub, Fieldays visitors will be able to tangibly experience the phases of innovation lifecycle represented by the three award categories.
As well as two $10,000 cash prizes on offer, winners will receive prize packages from Fieldays Innovations sponsors Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Gait International.
Shane Dooley, Business Innovation Advisor at Callaghan Innovation, returns to judge the awards says he’s been seeing agritech innovations coming through the pipeline to address the challenges posed by COVID-19. “In some ways, COVID-19 has had a positive impact on the agritech space. Agri product demand hasn't dropped globally, and labour markets have, if anything, gotten tighter, and as a result, there appears to be more agritech innovators than ever stepping up to answer the call.”
Last year’s Innovation Awards winners have gone on to achieve extraordinary success, like Waikato-based Hivesite, who took home the 2020 Prototype Award for their in-beehive, chemical free, automatic, thermal treatment for Varroa mite. Since their win, Hivesite have evolved their prototype design, and commissioned a trial of their heat treatment system with support from Plant & Food Research and Callaghan Innovation. Additionally, their exposure has increased significantly, leading to their win of the ASB Backing Business Grant.
Antahi Innovations Ltd, won the Launch NZ Award for their Trusti Pasteur and Bag Starter Pack. This includes the Trusti Bag which allows for the chilling of colostrum to maintain quality and can be used to hygienically feed calves directly from the bag. The Trusti Bag is used in conjunction with the Trusti Pasteur colostrum pasteuriser which quickly and safely warms colostrum within the Trusti Bags.
Mark Haywood, co-owner of Antahi Innovations Ltd, says that exhibiting in the Fieldays Innovation Hub was the perfect launch pad for their business. “The way the Innovation Hub is set up creates such a great vibe, we are very grateful to have the opportunity to launch our new products in this way.”
Entries for the 2021 Fieldays Innovation Awards close 1 May 2021.