Fieldays: Getting stuck in, gumboots and all

Over the last four years, we have worked closely with Fieldays Innovations to give the entrepreneurs of our country a space to learn, discover, and develop their ground-breaking ideas — and this year is no different.


Starting out as a small area in the corner of the Innovation Centre, The Lab is now full blown hub for supporting, mentoring, and debriefing Innovations Awards entrants. It’s fitted with whiteboards, seating, break-out areas, and packed to the brim with experts in the innovation business. Here, entrants can get tips in preparation for their Capital Event pitch, or get advice on different aspects of their project, including design and market entry. It’s also open to any visitors to Fieldays who would like to learn about and discuss innovation.

Whether you’ve been tinkering with your project in the garage or developing ideas within a large company, we encourage you to come along and visit us in the Lab. You can also check out our past Lab adventures over on our Tumblog here.

Our cross-functional team and skilled Lab partners are there to give advice and improve the outcomes of innovation in business — something we are proud to be a part of. Still need convincing to come along? Here are our top five favourite things about Fieldays and The Lab.

5. Gumboots galore

There are gumboots everywhere. We aren’t kidding. Also Swandry everything. It’s like a uniform — and we are completely guilty of falling suit. Heck, it’s cold in June, gumboots and Swannies are a must.

4. Great food

We love food. We’re a strong believer that teams who eat together stay together, so our mission is to search Fieldays far and wide to find the best food. Don’t even get us started on the free samples in the food hall… Top marks go to dumplings and sausages — and always a good cup of coffee. If you can’t find us in The Lab, we’re probably near the food.

3. Number-8 wire culture

We truly are a nation of innovators and it’s inspiring to see the diversity of ideas year after year. Fieldays Innovations is a fantastic platform to showcase new ideas and businesses and, with the help of the awards, we are working together to launch these new companies into success.

Taking product development and innovation seriously, we offer the Locus Research Innovation Award for to a group or individual that can benefit the most from our help. The award provides four days and full access to our cross functional team to work on any aspect of an innovation from the brand and graphics through to engineering, design, and commercial aspects.

A highly successful previous winner of this award is the Ubco 2×2, originally launched as an unpainted prototype in the 2014 Innovations Centre. Our team have worked closely with the Ubco Bikes team over the past few years, and have even invested in the company as part of our Ventures scheme.

2. Sustainable solutions

This is something we hold close to our hearts — if we aren’t designing sustainably, then we aren’t designing responsibly. The Fieldays is an excellent place to highlight sustainable products to New Zealand’s largest industry. These clever farmers are developing products that are not only cost saving, but also lend a hand to the environment as well.

1. The passion found in the agri-sector

Something that constantly amazes us in the Innovation Centre is the passion and dedication that comes out of the hay shed. Often, the team behind the product on display has put everything they can into this exhibition for the months (and maybe years) leading up to the Fieldays. Chatting with the participants will leave you inspired, as they believe in their product and it shows. This is part of what makes working in the Lab so special — we get to dive deep into the problems people experience and help them find a way out.

Do you have a prototype, product or idea you need help innovating? Come along to the Fieldays and find us in the Lab in the Innovations Centre to chat with experts to keep that ball rolling — or gather inspiration from your passionate fellow agri-innovators. Contact us and book a slot to chat with the team today!

Want to read more on creativity, design, product development and innovation? Go to our Six Lenses Blog.



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