Fieldays preview: Innovation Awards


Tthe Fieldays® Innovation Awards have a rich tradition of recognising ingenuity and innovation

Showcasing a mesmerising array of ideas, the entries in this annual Awards category serve as a powerful catalyst for transformational change within Aotearoa’s agricultural sector.

Attracting shed tinkerers, ingenuity enthusiasts, and work shed warriors, the Fieldays Innovations Awards are a celebration of creativity and resourcefulness, recognising that groundbreaking ideas can emerge from the most unexpected places.

Fieldays Innovation Hub

“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,” says Steve Chappell, Fieldays programme manager.

“We also love to see entries from established Fieldays exhibitors showing their new innovative products. It’s great for the first-timers to be situated alongside a company that has a global presence.”

The WiderLab team

The Hub has a great collaborative atmosphere even though everyone is competing for the same prizes. The Innovation Awards showcase the best innovations from New Zealand 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 agri tech (including food tech and green tech).

VR being displayed as part of Fieldays Innovation Awards

Last year saw an increase in entrants from the sustainability and green-tech areas, highlighting the diversification
of farming currently happening in New Zealand.

“There was also strong representation from the traditional on-farm or on-orchard solutions from across sectors,” says Steve.

First-time entrants WiderLab won the 2023 Growth & Scale Award

“The globally renowned awards programme encompasses a diverse range of categories ensuring that innovation at every stage of development and from all walks of life is celebrated and supported.”

Innovation 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.

2023 Innovation Awards winners

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.

“It’s a stage that demands commitment, creativity, and perseverance, and these innovators deserve recognition for their progress. 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.

University of Waikato’s e-BIN won the 2022 Prototype Award

“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 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, Young Innovator highlights those innovators unafraid to push boundaries from a young age and think outside the square.

Fieldays continues to evolve the awards each year, and this year there are some exciting changes planned:

  • A new look for the Awards and a redesigned Fieldays Innovation Hub.
  • A new judging process with shortlisting of finalists in each category, with both online judging pre-event and on-site judging at Fieldays.
  • 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.

“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,” says Steve.

The Fieldays Innovation Awards are supported by sponsors Amazon Web Services, Gait International, KingSt Advertising, NZME, Sprout Agritech, and Blender Design. These sponsors combine with Fieldays to provide more than $70,000 worth of cash, support, and promotion from expert advice to product design and development and marketing and media support, all designed to help the winners grow and develop their product.

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