Four Bay of Plenty companies have been announced as finalists in the 2016 New Zealand Innovation Awards.

The four companies have been nominated a combined 13 times over nine award categories.

A press release from Priority One said SunGold kiwifruit of Zespri had received nominations in five categories and Robotics Plus received four nominations.

Alistair Scarfe, director and design engineer of Robotics Plus, made the shortlist for the Young New Zealand Innovator of the Year.

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Heilala Vanilla and electronic metering and control equipment producer Bluelab Corporation were also nominated for the awards.

Priority One chair Brett Hewlett said he had seen an increase in entrepreneurial activity in the area, putting the region on the map nationally and internationally as a place where innovation was happening.

This meant other entrepreneurial businesses also wanted to be based here, he said.

Awards night is on October 20 at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland.