Celebrating innovation excellence in food, fibre and agritech

13 June 2022

Twelve cutting-edge ventures have been selected as finalists in the 2022 Food, Fibre and Agritech (FFA) Supernode Challenge and will showcase their projects at an awards ceremony on 21 June at the Christchurch Town Hall. This open entry event will highlight the inspiring work of leading innovators who are forging positive change in the FFA sector.

  • Dr Ken Morrison and Mahnaz Shahverdi

    Dr Ken Morrison and Mahnaz Shahverdi, SuperPro

Lin Li Yeoh, Rohan Mathias

Lin Li Yeoh and Rohan Mathias, FoodFuse

From an autonomous robot helper for bird control in vineyards through to pasture and animal health tools for farmers, this year’s finalists showcase innovative solutions to problems facing the sector and support a sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Given the high standard of the 24 ventures that took part in the competition’s eight-week Accelerator programme, industry judges had a difficult task making the final selection. Running from 4 April to 3 June, the Accelerator programme enabled participants to hone their ventures with the support of masterclasses, coaching and commercialisation advice.

The 12 finalists will now pitch their transformative industry solutions at this month’s FFA Showcase and Awards Ceremony hosted in conjunction with E Tipu 2022 – the Boma Agri Summit. Winners will receive up to $70,000 of cash and in-kind prizes to help them further develop and grow their ventures into world-class businesses.

The Challenge is powered by ChristchurchNZKiwiNet and the Canterbury Mayoral Forum in partnership with the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE), and supported by ThincLab Canterbury and B.linc Innovation.

Waimate District Mayor and Canterbury Mayoral Forum Food & Fibre lead Craig Rowley says, “The Canterbury Mayoral Forum is proud to be a Challenge partner and excited about the potential for these finalists’ innovations to grow the value, sustainability and competitiveness of Canterbury’s agricultural sector. That growth is a key contributor to the Forum’s goal of shared sustainable economic prosperity for our region.”

Alexandra Stuthridge, Commercialisation Manager at the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet), says she is very impressed by the ideas that have emerged from Canterbury’s food, fibre, and agritech innovation pipeline.

“Now more than ever, innovative solutions are needed to address the world’s food, fibre, and agritech pressures, and this year’s finalists have risen to the challenge.

“At KiwiNet, we feel privileged to support such an exciting and important kaupapa. The FFA Challenge is an incredible platform that propels ideas, innovations, and our future entrepreneurs forward so they can transform industry and make a positive impact for New Zealand.”

The Food, Fibre and Agritech Supernode Challenge Showcase and Awards Ceremony takes place at the conclusion of day one of the E Tipu: The Boma Agri Summit on 21 June. If you have an interest in this sector, you are welcome to attend and learn more about these new and innovative solutions that support a sustainable future.

To secure your tickets to the FFA Showcase and Awards Ceremony, go to: humanitix.com/food-fibre-and-agritech-showcase

The 12 finalists in the 2022 FFA Supernode Challenge are:

Autonabit
Autonomous robot for bird control, mowing, and spraying in vineyards.
Dr Josh McCulloch

Bambax
Bambax utilizes Woodfibre in combination with novel home compostable bio-polymer technology as a replacement for poorly recycled plastics to achieve a circular bio economy.
Cameron Bartley and Callum Windley

Carbon Plan
CarbonPlan – an innovative, cost-effective carbon offset assessment tool for New Zealand farmers to realise their farms carbon potential.
Cindy Lowe, Andrew Curtis, Charlotte Butler

Carbonz
Carbonz is the first exchange for fully traceable native New Zealand carbon credits.
Finn Ross, Nicola Prebble, Benedict Kyle, Ryan Gillanders

DietDecoder™
The DietDecoder™  is a data driven, farm decision-support tool helping farmers improve animal health and performance outcomes using powerful insights gained through the pasture diet.
Cynthia Northcote, Emily House

FoodFuse
Technology that transforms food waste into home biofuels.
Lin Li Yeoh, Rohan Mathias

KiwiFibre Innovations
KiwiFibre uses natural fibres to design material solutions that help global industries make real environmental change.
Ben Scales, William Murrell

Pasture Snap
Pasture measurement in your pocket. Imagine you can whip out your phone, snap the pasture at your feet with it, and have an immediate dry matter result – no internet required!
Hennie Basson

SeaBoard
Wall to Save the Planet - a fire-resistant and moisture controlling bio composite wall panel with the help from our friend, seaweed.
Andy Park

SuperPro
Highly soluble and nutritional pea protein for the growing market in plant-based foods.
Dr Ken Morison, Mahnaz Shahverdi

The RePAVER Project
A start-up social enterprise which harnesses the potential of waste to improve the living environment of our local communities.
Imogen McRae 

Winealyse
Analysing wine faster, cheaper, easier for higher quality.
Daniel Mak, Dr Tanya Rutan, Dr Renwick Dobson, Dr Volker Nock

For further information please contact:
UC Communications team, media@canterbury.ac.nz, Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168

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