Guests at the 2022 Fieldays Innovation Awards were treated to a celebration of creative problem-solvers with four well-deserving winners selected by the panel of 15 industry expert judges.

More than 60 finalists were in the running to be considered for one of four Awards. The Fieldays Innovation awards clearly represent the innovation lifecycle in three award categories: Prototype, Early-Stage, and Growth & Scale. Special recognition is also given to younger innovators, with an award for the Fieldays Young Innovator of the year.

New Zealand entrepreneur Nick Mowbray spoke at the ceremony, partaking in a Q&A with host and Fieldays regular Te Radar to inspire the innovators in the room. Mowbray shared his story of creating the toy and consumer products manufacturer ZURU from humble beginnings with his brother and imparted his words of innovation wisdom for the entrants.

The 2022 Young Innovator of the Year Award (sponsored by Soda) winner was Delta Waterways, a student start-up from the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. Delta Waterways uses the latest in satellite data and data analysis techniques to revolutionise the way waterways are monitored.

The 2022 Prototype Award winner was The University of Waikato for their Kiwifruit Human Assisted Harvesting (e-BIN) which was developed with the goal of making fruit picking easier and eventually opening up roles to a wider range of people.

The 2022 Early-Stage Award winner was SNPshot, a company that’s designed to make DNA sampling of livestock seamless and simple, which has resulted in a simple yet effective system for farmers to use and have processed in the lab.

The 2022 Growth & Scale Award (sponsored by Soda, King St Advertising and NZME) winner was previous Fieldays Innovation award winner RiverWatch whose hardware and software solutions work together with the end goal of creating swimmable oceans, rivers and streams by providing a network of real-time water quality information.

Steve Chappell, Fieldays Programme Manager, says that the Fieldays Innovation Awards are an amazing showcase of the innovation that can be found in all four corners of New Zealand and around the world.

"The standard of entries was very high again this year, and I know the judges had to make some tough decisions. I’m happy for those that won and know that the prize packages for each category are going to make a world of difference on their innovation journey. I can’t wait to see how the next 12 months will go for the winners and finalists – I hope to see them all again next year in the next stages of their innovation journey."

Fieldays Innovation Awards entries for 2023 are now open, and Fieldays looks forward to seeing what inventions will be on show and how these will continue to change and advance this sector. You can apply for the Fieldays 2023 Innovation Awards here.

Story supplied by Fieldays.