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Creating Opportunities For New Zealanders With Hemp

The NZHIA are using “Innovation as a Service” to identify opportunities for industrial hemp in the food, fibre and processing sectors.

Hemp has long been known for its properties as a food, strong fibre, and an environmental super crop now, it could spell opportunity for New Zealand farmers.

As part of their agriculture super node strategy, Christchurch NZ, with the support of NZHIA (New Zealand Hemp Industries Association), Webtools Agritech, and Hemptastic, are hosting the “Hemp Ideation Challenge” from 5-18 September 2020.

“Hemp has so many positive properties that, if combined with existing food and fibre products, could really create more of the types of unique and compelling high value products that New Zealand is known for. Since hemp has a great environmental profile as well, it’s an opportunity for existing industries to tap into some of those positive metrics” - Melissa Baer, CEO Webtools Agritech.

Webtools and NZHIA are inviting existing industry leaders, researchers, students, and entrepreneurs in the fibre, textiles, food, beverage, nutraceutical, cosmetic, and agriculture production space, to participate in this challenge. There will be an opportunity for prizes, media exposure for their idea, and a chance to participate in the agriculture super node challenge.

Participants will be involved in a facilitated ideation and innovation process using the “Planbox” platform, which ensures ideas are informed by global data. This avoids anyone having to ‘reinvent the wheel’, aiding rapid innovation which is internationally relevant and positions the industry as immediately profitable.

“We want to create opportunities in Aotearoa. Now, is the time to think about how we can work together to ensure a bright future for all New Zealanders” - Richard Barge, Chair NZHIA.

“A new crop for our primary sector and the need for manufacturing in the regions, is a good news story” Barge says.

This is an opportunity to create high value products for the emerging hemp industry, ensuring we capitalise on the great reputation of New Zealand natural products - by producing sustainable products that can really back up the “clean and green" claims.

The challenge is open nationwide to anyone who has a burning idea or is an enthusiast that would like to participate in a facilitated ideation and innovation session. The event will cater to both in-person and virtual participation.

You will need to register to be part of the challenge beginning 5 September and the prize giving on 18 September. In person (and virtual) ideation and mentorship will occur in Christchurch at Webtools Agritech head offices (146a Lichfield street)

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