Innovative, new projects to solve farmers and growers wicked problems are being scouted by the Rural Innovation Lab (RIL), a collaborative network that includes support from ecentre, Massey University and The Factory.
Chairman Mat Hocken says the RIL is on the search for the boldest and brightest ideas that have the potential to transform the primary sector.
“The world of food and agriculture is facing huge disruption, and people are asking questions about farming into the future. How can we give consumers visibility and transparency into the value chain? How can we align community and consumer environmental, social and cultural expectations? What do new business models look like and how can they build resilience into our future farms?” says Mat.
Projects are being sought that relate to the burning issues identified by over one hundred farmers and growers during a series of engagements the RIL held earlier this year. “We heard from farmers that the pressing issues were getting closer to consumers, creating new business models, ideas to drive value from regulation and compliance, access to data for better decision making, and understanding and enhancing the environmental footprint.”
Mat says all ideas are on the table. “We want to hear from farmers and growers that have been dreaming up ideas as they work their farms and orchards. We want to hear from the entrepreneurs, developers and techies, start-ups and businesses working on projects that might apply to the primary sector”.
“Successful projects will receive access to a share of a $15,000 fund, support from The Factory for project set up and oversight, and use of Microsoft’s latest technology”.
“In addition, they will have access to partners within our RIL collaborative network, including Massey University, Microsoft, The Factory and ecentre, and mentoring by a network of leading farmers in the Manawatu/Whanganui region”.
“The Rural Innovation Lab is here to turn the model upside down and have farmers and growers leading change in the primary sector. We can’t wait to see the ideas that are waiting to be uncovered”.
The Rural Innovation Lab is hosting their first Digital Bootcamp on Wednesday 26thJune, to prepare farmers and growers, and innovators for the application process.
CALL FOR INNOVATION PROJECTS
Do you have an idea that will transform the primary sector? Do you have a concept that will change farming as we know it?
The Rural Innovation Lab are on the search for three innovative, new projects that could solve the wicked problems facing farmers and growers in the Manawatu/Whanganui region.
Innovation Projects are being sought under the five priority areas identified by farmers and growers during the RIL’s recent farmer and grower engagement events:
Getting closer to consumers
Creating new business models
Putting people at the heart
Understanding and enhancing farming’s environmental footprint
Data for better decision making
Driving value from regulation and compliance
You might be a farmer or grower that’s been pondering an idea as you poke around the farm; or an entrepreneur, developer or techie; a start up or an established business. Either way, you are interested in solving the burning issues farmers and growers are facing.
Successful projects will receive:
Access to a $15,000 fund
Expert support from The Factory for project set-up and oversight
Access to the RIL collaborative network, including Massey University, Microsoft and ecentre
Use of Microsoft’s latest technology
Mentoring by leading farmers in the Manawatu/Whanganui region
The RIL will support innovation projects from August – December 2019.
Applications are open now, until 15thJuly. To apply or for full terms and conditions
The Rural Innovation Lab
The Rural Innovation Lab is a platform of collaborative partners supporting farmers and growers to experiment with, up-skill in, and drive technology and innovation. It is driven by and puts farmers and growers at the centre of the innovation process. Our ambition is to be the go to place for rural innovation, and that the Manawatu-Whanganui is seen as having the smartest farmers in the world. The project is funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation & Employment through the Provincial Growth Fund, and stakeholders from the Manawatu-Whanganui region.