Entries are being sought for the 2024 Fieldays Innovation Awards.
The awards are a celebration of creativity and resourcefulness, recognising that groundbreaking ideas can emerge from the most unexpected places.
“Whether you’re a farmer with a clever new tool to boost productivity, a visionary engineer with an invention to change the entire industry, or a student with an idea that you think might just work, your innovation can have a lasting impact,” Fieldays programme manager Steve Chappell said.
“We also love to see entries from established Fieldays exhibitors showing their new innovative products. It is great for the first-timers to be situated alongside a company that has a global presence.
“The Innovation Awards showcase the best innovations from NZ and around the world and are a must-see part of Fieldays.”
Entries are encouraged from across the primary sector – dairy, meat and wool, forestry, horticulture (including viticulture), seafood (including aquaculture and fishing), arable and agritech (including food tech and green tech).
“Last year saw an increase of entrants from the sustainability and green tech areas, highlighting the diversification of farming currently happening in New Zealand, but we also saw strong representation from the traditional on-farm or on-orchard solutions from across the sector,” Chappell said.
The globally renowned awards programme encompasses a diverse range of categories.
• The Prototype category is the incubator of fresh ideas and early-stage concepts and provides a platform for individuals or teams to showcase their early-stage innovations.
• The Early-Stage category highlights innovations that have moved beyond the conceptual phase and have launched commercially as practical, real-world solutions within the last year.
• Innovations in the Growth & Scale category are making their mark in New Zealand and globally and have market entry and commercial success in at least two countries within the last four years. They have the potential to enhance productivity, sustainability, and profitability, and their creators are ready to take their innovations to new international markets.
• The Young Innovator of the Year Award once again recognises the importance of fostering the next generation of food and fibre innovators who bring fresh perspectives and bold ideas to the primary sector. Open to entrants in all three categories who are 19 years and under.
• There will also be a new People’s Choice award (that all exhibiting entrants are eligible for) with a prize for the winner, and also for one lucky voter.
This year will see a new judging process with short-listing of finalists in each category, with both online judging pre-event, and onsite judging at Fieldays
“Year after year, we are continually amazed by the exceptional quality of our entrants. I urge all those innovators out there who have that brilliant idea but might be uncertain about its potential to take a leap of faith and apply. Fieldays is built on innovation, and this is the ultimate platform to showcase your ideas,” Chappell said.
An online information session is being held on Thursday, November 9 at 9am for those wanting to know more about the Fieldays Young Innovator of the Year Award category. Register at fieldays.co.nz/innovation.
Entries are open now until 1pm on April 24 2024. Full details of the awards, including important dates, the Ts and Cs, FAQs, and category criteria, can be viewed on the Fieldays website at fieldays.co.nz/innovation.