Fieldays innovation awards expand
Genetics, animal science and chemical-based innovations are being added for the first time to the Fieldays Innovations Awards this year.
Competition organisers had expanded the criteria because of an increase of focus in the fields, Fieldays Innovations event manager Gail Hendricks said.
As a result, the competition has included two new judges to judge the science behind the innovations, she said.
Award organisers have received 71 entries including innovations in fencing, irrigation, pasture management and animal health. Agricultural technology would also be on show, with several app-based innovations entered and a virtual reality innovation.
The entries are displayed at the Fieldays Innovations Centre, which showcases agricultural inventions and new applications with the potential to lead change in the rural sector.
The theme of Fieldays is ‘leading change’. Hendricks said the awards were at the cutting edge of what was happening in agriculture, and the future of the industry.
‘‘Originally, the Fieldays Innovation Awards was about widgets, gadgets and devices to improve farming, and now, more and more we are seeing how science and technology is impacting agriculture,’’ Hendricks said.
The main entry categories are the Fieldays Prototype Award, Fieldays Launch NZ Award and Fieldays International Award.
Other awards up for grabs include the best Young Inventor of the Year, technology innovation, research innovation, agriinnovation, intellectual property and commercialisation and intellectual property.
Judges consider inventiveness, design and originality, the process of coming up with the innovation, commercial opportunities, intellectual property protection, technical viability and its benefit to New Zealand agriculture before deciding the winners.
The winners will be announced on June 15. Hendricks said they would receive the kudos of winning the awards and any resulting publicity, but also access to expert support and business advice from companies sponsoring each award.
Hendricks said entrants also have a chance to meet with potential investors at an invitation-only evening, Fieldays Innovations Capital on June 15.
There are 71 entries in this years Innovation Awards at Fieldays including entries in animal science and genetics.