Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Partnerships


Primary Network Partners

  • Massey University

  • Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research)



November 2018


Manawatu - Whanganui Farmers and Growers Innovation Collaborative

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Rural Innovation Labs

New Zealand’s economic prosperity, social well being and environmental performance is highly reliant on the innovation, competitiveness and overall health of its primary industry sector. Our primary industries are entering a time of significant disruption due to factors such as emerging digital, material and biological technologies, rapid increase in the consumer acceptability of plant‐based proteins, global value chain disruption, and changes to the international trading environment.


Driven by farmers and growers across New Zealand, the Rural Innovation Labs project is a multi-year initiative that brings grass-roots knowledge, practical skills and passion to help co-create fast and sustainable innovation.

Our long-term vision is to build a vibrant national network of Rural Innovation Labs that support a proactive and strategic approach to develop ‘collaborative innovation’ that can drive greater on-farm absorption of new ideas, knowledge, practices and increased use of digital, material and biological technologies.

The Rural innovation Labs will create a space for experimentation, collaboration, analytics and human resource capacity development that uses temporary available buildings, galleries and community spaces across regional to let farmers and growers, local communities and small-medium enterprises see, touch, hear and connect with new and emerging digital, material and biological technologies that can transform their business and local economies. Together, these like minded individuals and organisations will:

  • help transform New Zealand’s Primary Industries and support sustainable social and economic growth in regional New Zealand while protecting the environment

  • support Māori aspirations for self-determination and sustainable development

  • promote action that supports intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion that transcend any particular gender, nationality/ethnicity, ability, function, language and lifestyle.

  • position New Zealand as the leader in agri innovation, collaboration and thought leadership to help promote NZ Inc. as the place to bring experts, conferences, pilots and agri developments.


What we’ve accomplished:



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