Planning for innovations

From Inspiration to Impact: The Role of Innovation Awards NZ in Promoting Innovation

If there is one thing that makes the New Zealand silhouette stand out on the global map, it would be its focus on and appreciation of local innovation.  

The NZ government and organizations often bring attention to and inspire more innovation-driven development by hosting innovation awards. As a result, the country is filled with opportunities for organizations to apply, be nominated, and set goals to become more innovation-driven in their day-to-day activities. 

Innovation is not just limited to one branch of the market – there are awards relevant for every single organization. There are innovation awards for everything from technological technicalities to innovative marketing strategies, such as that won by the Front Up campaign relevant for those looking to buy viagra nz. In other words, these awards make sure to encourage organizations along the entire market spectrum. 

Why do innovation awards matter? 

Innovation awards are about more than just celebrating recent innovators and innovation projects. Ultimately, they are a way of both encouraging, inspiring, and gaining public traction and support of innovation in the larger society. 

The international Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has conducted research on the benefits of innovation awards and found that there are five overarching goals and effects. These are: 

  1. To recognise and encourage successful innovators, 
  1. To inspire and stimulate more innovation in the public sector, 
  1. To help build awareness of and community among innovators, 
  1. To provide information for case study research and statistics on innovation, and 
  1. To improve the public’s perception on the public sector. 

Because of these five reasons, innovation awards are important not just for the winners and finalists, but for a healthy and visionary society overall. There are also other benefits for participators than those listed above. For example, these events tend to garner media coverage and exposure of products, as well as provide opportunities to meet with and get feedback from experts within various fields. 

Furthermore, goal setting within companies to become nominees at an innovation award can help build a stronger sense of purpose and vision within the company crew. Not to mention, visitors who aren’t finalists might be able to meet and network with future project partners with whom they might one day receive the very same award they came to celebrate.  

NZ Nobel Prize Winners 

One of the greatest awards that scientists all over the world strive to be nominated for are the Nobel Prizes. The prizes were founded in honour of Swedish scientist and innovator Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite and wanted to give awards to those who “have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind”. So far, there have been three Nobel laureates of New Zealand descent.  

  • Ernest Rutherford (1908) for his work on radiation and its division into alpha and beta radiation.  
  • Maurice Wilkins (1962) for his discovery of the heliacal structure of DNA. 
  • Alan MacDiarmid (2002) for his work on conducive polymers, or electricity conducive plastics. 

Though the list is not very extensive so far, these internationally recognised Kiwi innovators have helped pave the way for the innovative mindset in New Zealand, and the list is sure to grow as new generations step up to the plate.  

New Zealand Innovation Awards 

One way that the new generation of scientists can grow is through local recognition. As we’ve mentioned before, the Kiwi population is spectacular in their praise and encouragement of local innovation. Amongst the nz innovation awards, the following are some of the most prestigious: 

  • Spark Innovator of the Year 
  • The New Zealand International Business Awards 
  • The Fieldays Innovation Awards 
  • The Wellington Gold Awards  
  • The Rutherford Medal 

There is also a large range of smaller scale innovation awards and nz business awards for innovators all over the country. Other than simply handing out awards and recognizing innovative industries, the organizers often provide lists of the nominees from each year, thus also providing clear portfolios of innovative markets even after the event.  

People’s Choice Awards NZ 

Amongst the professionally distributed awards, there is also a large focus on the people’s choice. As a consequence, several nz awards feature people’s choice awards as a category in their ceremonies. This is yet another incentive and initiative to engage the public, improve their perception of the public sector, and give them a sense of ownership and pride over local innovation.  

People’s choice are used in both local and national award ceremonies, and niched as well as broad markets. For example, the TECT Awards focuses on supporting local businesses and projects in the Western Bay of Plenty, and brings up local organizations who have the “Heart of the Community” or the “Volunteer of the Year”. The Accessible Business Award, on the other hand, focuses all their categories around three criteria – accessibility, inclusion, and diversity – rather than a geographical region.  

Another example, and structure, was that of the NZ Innovation Awards 2017. The awards, which were based on innovation 2016 and 2017, were first handled by the award arrangers and several different organizations were nominated in a broad range of categories. Once the finalists were published, the people’s choice awards 2017 was initiated. The people could then vote amongst the finalists in order to reward an extra honour on the day of the ceremony.  

How to apply for nz innovation awards 

If you feel inspired or feel your company needs a push in an innovative direction you might be wondering how to apply for an innovation award. Often, organizers of awards have clear instructions on their websites. These guides contain requirements for what a company must have fulfilled in order to be considered for the award.  

For example, the Spark Innovator of the Year award requires that the innovator in question must have invented a product or service that there was a need for, that has a proven impact, potential, and long-term impact. Most of the time, you cannot nominate yourself or the organization/company you are affiliated with.  

As someone just starting their innovative journey, you can start evaluating your own and your organization’s current and new projects from these criteria in order to apply an innovative process that can get you nominated. You can also draw inspiration from lists of previous innovation award finalists, as well as from innovator-focused websites such as this one or innovations co nz.