Innovation at Fieldays

Will and Samuel from our team headed to the Mystery Creek Fieldays this year. It’s no secret that New Zealand’s highly productive and creative scientific community produces many innovative ideas and projects. We were inspired yet again by the incredible ingenuity and commitment of Aotearoa’s up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs to continue finding more and better ways to tackle the sector’s challenging issues.

Our thanks go to the New Zealand National Fieldays Society for a great day out, and our congratulations go to all those finalists in the Fieldays Innovation Awards. The Fieldays Innovation Awards delivers a truly global platform for creative problem-solvers to showcase their innovation to the primary industries, all while providing the opportunity to be recognised as a Fieldays Innovation Award winner!

This year 65 finalists were selected to showcase their innovations: 21 in the Prototype category, 31 in Early-Stage, and 13 in Growth & Scale. All in attendance should be very proud to have been there.

We noted the ever-growing focus on environmental protection and conservation across nearly every innovation, whether in AI and automation to climate-friendly fertilisers or natural water filtration. There were entries from a wide range of sectors within the agri-tech industry, including Dairy, Forestry, Farm Management, Animal Health & Genetics, Horticulture and Viticulture, Water and Waste Management and more. As a fund that invests in science and deep tech through a hands-on, active approach, we were particularly stoked to see such a high number and calibre of engineers and passionate entrepreneurs with ground-breaking scientific ideas looking to turn those ideas into globally focused companies.

Chatting with the innovators showed us a mixture of excitement and trepidation around the future of Innovation going into 2023. With economic conditions making some innovators nervous, for the most part, many recognise that Innovators need to keep doing what they do best and keep innovating. However, it was interesting to hear how the priorities of innovators have shifted slightly, particularly in the wake of this economic uncertainty. For many, there were strong feelings that financial capital wasn’t the top priority to grow successfully; they required solid intellectual capital in the form of strategic, commercial governance and wise operational guidance. 

Overall, we had a fantastic day connecting with tech builders and ecosystem partners in the agrifood space. We are heartened by the continued drive for innovation in this space and excited to see a growing pipeline of opportunities.