Fieldays in­no­va­tion awards ex­pand

South Waikato News - - Fieldays - STUFF.CO.NZ

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.

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