Eye up the innovative solutions

Acuris Systems’ co-founders Nicholas Woon and Matthew Warner with their fully-autonomous robot system, which can scan orchards and give hard data to growers, at Fieldays last year.


Visitors to Fieldays this month will get to see some of the latest cutting edge developments and innovations being created to solve many woes in the primary industries as the Innovation Centre opens it doors from June 12-15.

The centre is where the 2019 Fieldays Innovations Awards entries will be housed for the four days – offering a chance for agricultural innovators to test their ideas, gather information, launch products and make connections.


Each entry has a booth displaying and educating on their innovative products – with Innovations Awards categories including Prototype Grassroots focussed on showcasing ideas, Prototype Established recognising product development, Launch NZ for innovations ready to go to market; and International for launching innovations globally.


Fieldays Innovations event manager Gail Hendricks says there’s many benefits from entering the awards.


“As well as the $60,000 prize pool on offer in cash and support, entrants will also be given a platform to test the market, the opportunity to learn from industry experts and the chance to develop their innovation through the various production stages,” says Gail.


“These awards support ingenuity and creativity the Kiwi can-do attitude, recognising people picking good problems or processes and being creative in the way they solve or enhance them.”

Entrants get the opportunity to present their innovations to the many visitors and exhibitors that attend Fieldays from around the country and internationally.


Last year’s winners included a robot that navigates kiwifruit orchards capturing highly accurate data, ground-breaking deer milk products, an app to help orchard supervisors collect timesheets and push to payroll, a plantain that reduces nitrogen leaching, and a two-wheel drive electric utility vehicle – just to name a few.


And with Fieldays attracting 130,000 visitors last year, making it the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, Gail says it’s the ideal platform for backyard inventors and start-up companies to interact with their end-users and progress their innovations.


Award entrants are supported by a group of knowledgeable and insightful organisations and individuals who provide advice around law, research, networking, engineering, technology and science.


And this year this support will be boosted by three new sponsors. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Gait International and James & Wells join Vodafone NZ, Callaghan Innovations and Massey University to form the strong team of sponsors fostering NZ agricultural innovations in the awards.


Gail says they’re really lucky to have a group of amazing sponsors’ support for 2019. “The support, advice and connections that each of our partners have for entrants will do wonders in advancing their ideas, propelling them onto the national and world stage with such reputable knowledge behind them.

“AWS has supported many successful NZ start-ups and enterprises in their technology journeys, and with AgTech being such a common theme amongst innovation entries, we see them being a hugely beneficial part of the Fieldays Innovation Awards’ team of sponsors.”


Kiwi entrepreneur and CEO of Gait International Daniel Given says his company is very keen to get involved in Fieldays Innovation, as it’s been key to enabling Kiwi agri-business innovators.


“Building successful businesses is hard, we are excited to be able to share some of our experiences and provide mentor ship to the agri-businesses of the future.”


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