AGRICULTURAL and rural innovators have been invited to apply for the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland's prestigious Technical Innovation Awards.

The 2020 awards, sponsored by the Hillhouse Quarry Group Ltd, aim to recognise innovation in the design and manufacture of machines, equipment and appliances which 'advance the effective and efficient practice of either agriculture, horticulture, equestrian, forestry, renewable energy or estate services'.

RHASS gave its first ‘premium’ for a farm implement way back in 1793, to a ‘new-invented plough of an improved construction adapted for the culture of Highland farms.’

Society chief steward of technical innovation, Christo Shepherd, commented: “Continual innovation and development is key for maintaining the growth of Scotland’s agriculture and rural industries. Every year we are impressed with the quality and range of products presented for the Technical Innovation Awards, which provide a unique opportunity to promote new inventions to farming and rural communities at the Royal Highland Show.

“I look forward to seeing the products that are leading the way in securing the future of the industry, whether that’s by making farming more efficient, safer or simply making operators lives easier.”

Entries must be machines, appliances, technical components or important ancillary equipment and can be commercially available or prototypes in development. All entries will be judged and benchmarked on individual merit.

One Gold, six Silver and four Certificates of Commendation were awarded last year. Gold awards are presented to previous Silver award winners for continuous outstanding merit – and last year the only Gold award was presented to Kverneland Group UK Ltd for its Kverneland 2500 i-plough, while Silver winners included Can-Am, Case IH Agriculture, Oran Oak Engineering, Easyfix, Penderfeed Livestock Equipment and Pollock Farm Equipment.

The closing date for this year's entries is April 10, with judging taking place before May. Successful entrants will be notified and will be invited to attend a presentation award ceremony on Saturday June 20 at the Royal Highland Show.

Entries should be made on the official entry form, downloadable from the Royal Highland Show website at