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Bold Solutions Sought For Challenges In Food, Fibre And Agritech Sector

The race is on for innovators across Canterbury to develop cutting-edge solutions that could vastly transform New Zealand’s food and fibre sector.

Launched on 15 January, the Food, Fibre and Agritech Supernode Challenge is a chance for innovators to produce ground-breaking ideas that address some of the country’s most critical issues within the industry.

It could be innovative research, an ambitious product or a new business venture — as long as it has the potential for global commercial success and positive outcomes for the environment.

More than $70,000 in cash prizes is up for grabs. The team or individual that emerges on top could be awarded up to $25,000, including access to specialist labs and expert support.

From high schools, universities and Crown Research Institutes, to start-ups, small businesses and large companies, the Challenge welcomes all who strive to create meaningful change within the sector, just like AgResearch — the overall winner of the On-Farm Systems category in the 2021 Challenge.

The CRI, which is one of New Zealand’s largest, developed Clarospec – a tool to measure lamb product quality for producers to optimise lamb supply, and help processors and exporters to differentiate products for key markets.

Boyd Warren ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth said food, fibre and agritech is an integral part of Canterbury’s economy, accounting for 20 percent of the regional gross domestic product.

“A Challenge like this reinforces Canterbury’s reputation as a world leader in food and fibre innovation,” he said.

Boyd Warren ChristchurchNZ’s General Manager of Commercial

It’s a fantastic opportunity for the region’s existing strength in the sector to grow, with bold and sustainable ideas that will create jobs, enhance productivity and prosperity.”

Boyd Warren - ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the region’s existing strength in the sector to grow, with bold and sustainable ideas that will create jobs, enhance productivity and prosperity.”

Entry submissions close on 20 March 2022. Once the finalists have been announced, they will venture into an eight-week accelerator programme designed to support teams to test their ideas through a market validation process.

The top teams selected from the programme will present to a panel of experts at the final Pitch Day and awards ceremony on 21 June.

The Food, Fibre and Agritech Challenge is powered by ChristchurchNZ, with the support of KiwiNet and the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, and delivery partners UC Centre of Entrepreneurship, ThincLab Canterbury and B.Linc Innovation.

More information and entry details can be found at: https://auaha.brightidea.com/FFAChallenge2022

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