Transforming the food, fibre and agritech sector

Bringing about transformational change and innovation is central to the Food, Fibre & Agritech Supernode Challenge which is why we’re pleased to partner with Boma NZ to deliver the Food, Fibre, and Agritech Supernode Challenge Showcase and Awards Ceremony at E Tipu: The Boma NZ Agri Summit, on 11 May.

E Tipu 2021 brings together the entire food and fibre sector in the largest cross-sector event of the year. The Food, Fibre and Agritech Supernode Challenge Showcase and Awards Ceremony rounds off day one of the Summit, presenting business and research innovation at the leading-edge of change in the sector. 

Secure your tickets to E Tipu here.



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Top 25 Projects

Congratulations to our top applicants and their disruptive ideas shortlisted in the Food, Fibre and Agritech Challenge. Each applicant will begin an intensive 7-week programme to hone their innovation and is in to win a share of over $130k. See more below.




Pure heart Aotearoa Hemp Milk – Plant nutrition at its best.

Pure Heart Aotearoa has a vision & is on a mission – Providing nutrition via plant-based alternatives whilst providing employment & stability within our region. To have a strong Whanau, Hapu & Iwi – culturally, economically & socially.

HoneyQ Hive Technology - Starc Developments

New Zealands' apiculture industry is currently unable to scale its mānuka honey exports to meet international demand. At Starc developments we have revolutionized the hive design; using automation to increase net honey yield per hive, and integrating smarts that empower the beekeeper to make data-driven decisions.

Kohu Hemp

At Kohu Hemp we are working towards developing the first mobile hemp-fiber processing machine in NZ. This will support the hemp industry by reducing the cost of the raw building material allowing for more affordable, sustainable and accessible production of hemp-fiber products into the market, such as HempKrete.

Hyperspectral imaging and machine learning for rapid detection of bacterial spores on farm

Combining the non-destructive hyperspectral imaging with artificial machine learning techniques would enable the screening and identification of foodborne spore formers on a farm level. Though this proposal requires extensive research and standardization for each strain being targeted, this could be a breakthrough preventive strategy to avoid the huge economical losses that industries incur due to the recalls. Prevention and proactive mitigation is the solution.

KiwiFibre Innovations

KiwiFibre Innovations is developing sustainable, high performance materials using harakeke flax to replace synthetic materials. We're reviving one of Aotearoa's oldest industries while designing a better world through smarter materials.

Trellis System that Improves the Task of Wire - lifting to Increase Productivity in Vineyards

A new approach to wire – lifting in vineyards. This trellis system incorporates a sliding and locking mechanism alongside colour coding that makes the task of wire – lifting physically easier. It simultaneously improves the communication needed to teach and learn the task, resulting in an overall increase in productivity.

2before® blackcurrant powder – a breakthrough natural sports performance enhancer

2before® is a sports nutrition brand taking Canterbury grown blackcurrants to the world. A recent review showed that NZ blackcurrants are more effective than even caffeine for sports performance enhancement. We are now undertaking more research to make the NutraIngredients USA Sports Nutrition Product of the Year even better.

L3 - Long Line Lysimeter

Nitrate leaching from land into waterways is Canterbury’s most high profile environmental issue. Technology used to measure leaching is only useful under research conditions leaving most farmers to estimate their leaching using software. The L3 aims to adapt current technology to a commercially practical solution allowing landowners and regulators to see actual leaching in real time.

Clarospec - Realtime objective measurement of product quality

Protein value chains lack routine, objective tools to measure product quality in real-time at industrial scale. This restricts production of consistent product quality. This technology enables quality information to be 1. Fed back to producers facilitating continuous improvement, and 2. For streaming product to key markets on a quality basis.

Irrigation Futures Digital Platform

Irrigation Futures is a digital platform that is about helping farmers and growers make better use of water through smart tools, advanced soil moisture models, and an integrated weather network.
The technology behind Irrigation Futures is modular so that it can be used to integrate with other tools and platforms as a central point of truth to help achieve water sustainability goals.

Happy Cow Milk - Milk factory in a box

Happy Cow Milk Co is developing a milk factory in a box! This internet enabled device will allow farmers to become fully compliant milk processors. This enables farmers to sell their milk directly to their local community using 100% reusable packaging.

New Genetic resources enabling crop plant production requiring low nitrogen supply

Growing food and fibre to meet increasing demand at the present time would need the increased input of nitrogen. Unfortunately, this would also increase the risk of undesirable level of nitrogen in our waterways. A transformative way forward is to have plant production with low nitrogen supply.


Split is a platform that will provide a pathway for everyday kiwis to invest and profit from the upcoming transformation in our Agri sector. Split will aim to link high growth horticultural assets and technologies that need funding with everyday investors looking for yield and capital growth.


Beever is an application that connects farmers with casual and relief workers. Beever provides a streamlined way for farmers to quickly organise a job at the touch of a button.


The GROBOT is an automated horticultural system that handles the full cycle of ecological outdoor vegetable growing from planting to harvesting. Designed for commercial growers to run a continous production operation while eliminating dependency on a workforce. The GROBOT provides only what is required for each plant and harvests individual produce when ripened and requested, saving on energy and input costs.

Fitbit4Food – Enabling conscious consumerism without extra effort

Limited human brain capacity and decision fatigue in shopping is a big barrier to sustainable supply chains. It's just not possible to know everything we need to know as consumers to make effective sustainability decisions. We're building a better user experience for consumers by individualizing this process and putting the consumer at the center, simplifying those previously difficult sustainability choices and making shopping more effective in driving change.

Lateral - Harnessing Nature to Control Caterpillars in Agricultural Crops

Lateral is a novel, bacteria-based biopesticide that controls caterpillar pests in a range of crops. It has a dual mode of action which will improve efficacy and mitigate resistance, as well as being safer for the user, environment and food chain.

Plant Protein from Legume Water

Protein is in high demand. Plant protein is highly sustainable. Water waste from food production is massive. Converting wastewater from food processing into highly nutritious and functional protein will improve our health and the environment.

Genesmith: Crafted livestock solutions

Genesmith is a startup within neXtgen Agri on a mission to deploy machine learning capability to enable world leading animal selection, management and traceability for livestock farmers. Genesmith will enable extensive livestock producers to monitor the welfare and performance of their livestock with an unprecedented accuracy, frequency and scale.

Producing flow batteries’ electrode using agricultural byproducts

Flow batteries are known by their long life, simplicity and flexibility. However, the current electrodes that are used in flow batteries are not optimized for this application. We will produce electrodes out of a natural fibre, agricultural by product. This agricultural byproduct has the chemistry and porous texture that improves the performance of flow batteries. Improving the efficiency of the battery reduces the capital cost of the system by more than %50.


MyWineMatcher – This proposal is about using a new Technology tool (REIMS – Rapid Emission Ionization Mass Spectroscopy) to scientifically address the biological taste senses of consumers by matching the molecular phenotype (fingerprint) of a wine to a consumer's tasting preferences!Life's too short to drink wine you don't like!

Untapped potential of Hemp: Food, Fiber and Medicine.

Greelab Hemp NZ Ltd is embarking on a challenging industrial hemp R&D program to optimise cultivars for food, fiber and medicine production. We will also provide a package of hemp agronomic practices for Canterbury farmers to produce quality raw materials leading to value added products.

Moover – automating the movement of cowshed backing gates to respond to cow behaviour

MOOVER is working on fully automating the movement of backing gates. Underpinning this solution is our ability to analyse complex information received by sensors to determine what stimulus from the backing gate movement is required to optimise cow flow. Cow flow/welfare is improved, while reducing the workload for milkers.

NZ Waterways Digital Twin

Farmers and growers have an important role to play in protecting the quality of our waterways, which are essential for a thriving, sustainable and equitable economy. We aim to empower smart, cost-effective decisions by providing access to a high-quality digital twin of New Zealand's waterways.

Improving conversion of NZ's agricultural fibre wastes into food and fungal composite materials.

Agricultural fibre waste can be repurposed using fungal mycelia to rapidly generate both food and composite materials with a variety of applications. Used in this way, fungal mycelia can generate additional value from fibre waste in an environmentally sustainable manner, leveraging natural nutrient cycles that currently go unused by industry.


What We're Looking For