Get to know the 2022 Fieldays Innovation Award winners

While they were enjoying the elation that comes with winning a Fieldays Innovation Award, we went to the Innovation Hub to find out more about the winners and what makes them tick.

The University of Waikato won the Prototype Award this year for their Kiwifruit Human Assisted Harvesting (e-BIN), a product that was created during the 2021 lockdown in part, to solve the issue of staff shortages - one of the kiwifruit industry’s biggest problems. Funded by Zespri, the electronic fruit bin can potentially revolutionise the picking industry by taking most of the heavy lifting out of picking produce, bringing people that potentially weren’t physically able to get into picking jobs into the industry. The group have consulted with representatives from the picking industry and have worked to refine the fine motor skills on the e-Bin to reduce fruit damage. 

Nick Pickering, a lecturer at the University’s School of Engineering says that there is a real need for people in the Kiwifruit industry and physicality can be a barrier to filling in this labour shortage.

‘During testing next kiwifruit season, we will be working towards solving that labour shortage in the kiwifruit industry and increasing productivity while also making sure that the quality of the kiwifruit is not impacted in any way.’

The winners of the Early-Stage Award are SNPShot, a system that uses DNA to verify an animal’s potential and guide farmers in their decision making. The five-part, fully patented system is completely digital and compatible with standard DNA lab equipment, meaning that farmers can save labour and keep costs down because they don’t need to buy multiple pieces of software and hardware.

Graham Adler, General Manager of SNPShot says that the all in one device saves time, money and ensures traceability via GPS, so you know exactly where the DNA sample was taken from.

‘Taking DNA samples from any animal can be complex and often involves a lot of manual work. SNPShot is simple to use, is more accurate, and effectively increases your chance of finding your Dan Carters among the club rugby players so to speak. We’re excited to continue developing SNPShot for commercial use.’

The winners of the Growth and Scale award are RiverWatch, a water quality monitoring system that effectively offers real time information about the quality of oceans, rivers and streams. Developed, tested and manufactured in New Zealand, this software monitors water quality information in a meaningful way and provides accurate information to relevant people. The idea for RiverWatch was created by father and son duo Grant and James Muir to solve the problem of water pollution upstream from their farm but the pair quickly realised that there was a growing water quality crisis in New Zealand.

Abi Croutear-Foy, Chief Growth Officer for RiverWatch says keeping New Zealand’s waterways clean can be a difficult task but RiverWatch makes this seamless, accurate and easy.

‘We’ve worked hard to create a sustainable, easy-to-use, affordable system that helps you to track your water quality. We’re leading the world in this space, there’s just nothing as precise and easy out there allowing access to top quality data. It's pretty exciting to be part of a movement towards a global solution.’

A group of three students from the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology took out the Award for Young Innovator of the Year with their software Delta Waterways. Group members Brendan Bell, Ander Castelltort and James Lear created Delta Waterways after the team competed in the TakiWaehere Geospatial Hackathon in 2021 where they were given 24 hours to build a piece of software from the ground up. After that competition, the team connected with other industry professionals who saw the software as being a viable and necessary invention. The team were convinced to pursue it and continued to develop it, eventually seeing its potential to help people across the country.

Anders and Brendan said ‘Delta Waterways helps to give people a more complete picture of their waterways which helps to identify areas of problems of say algae bloom or sediment buildup. It’s an emerging technology but we are riding that wave and can’t wait to see the journey it takes us on.’

The Fieldays Innovation Awards is sponsored by Massey University, Vodafone, Amazon Web Services, Gait International, King St. Advertising, NZME, Sprout Agritech, Blender Design, and Soda Inc., who all contribute to a prize package valued at over $60,000. Full details of the prizes for each category can be viewed here. We thank our generous sponsors for their support of the Fieldays Innovation Awards and the Fieldays Innovation Hub.

We would like to say another big thank you to the finalists and award winners from the 2022 Fieldays Innovation Awards and we hope to see you all again in the Innovation Hub for Fieldays 2023. Award winners and finalists will be on display at the Fieldays Innovations Hub and on the Fieldays Innovation Trail on the Fieldays App until the end of the event.



Fieldays is based on a 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek 10 minutes from Hamilton and is the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere. Fieldays draws people from around the globe – both as exhibitors and visitors. Fieldays 2021 saw 132,776 people visit the event, generating $675M in sales revenue for New Zealand businesses.


Fieldays is run by New Zealand National Fieldays Society, a charitable organisation founded in 1968 for the purpose of advancing the primary industries.

The New Zealand National Fieldays Society thanks their premier and key partners Case IH, Hyundai, Ministry of Primary Industries, and Vodafone for their continued support.

For more information head to

Fieldays Partners and Premier Sponsor