New water-saving technology has big impact on world stage

Lincoln Agritech has signed a licensing agreement with an Israeli company, Autonomous Pivot, for a cutting-edge new water-saving technology.

Developed by a team of scientists at the Lincoln University-owned research and development company, the technology allows farmers to see actual soil moisture in any part of a field in real time and save water without the loss of yield associated with traditional irrigation practices.

Trials have shown water savings of 25%.

“Traditional soil moisture sensors have to be buried in one position in a field, but our non-invasive, ground-penetrating radar measures soil moisture from a centre pivot irrigator,” said Lincoln Agritech CEO Peter Barrowclough. Continue reading

High innovation honour for Lincoln Agritech at Canterbury business awards

Lincoln Agritech Ltd has been recognised for its cutting-edge innovations at the annual Canterbury Westpac Champion Business Awards.

The research and development company owned by Lincoln University won the Christchurch NZ Champion Innovation award, which honours businesses that have developed products, services or business model innovations to improve commercial performance, effectiveness or customer engagement.

Lincoln Agritech CEO Peter Barrowclough, expressing delight with the win, paid tribute to his organisation’s team of scientists and research engineers “who work hard to deliver leading-edge knowledge and technologies across the primary sector value chain.

One of Lincoln Agritech’s latest inventions is the HydroMetrics optical groundwater nitrate sensor. The sensor can be placed down wells to provide accurate real time nitrate monitoring in groundwater.

The HydroMetrics sensor, now commercialised and available for purchase, is priced at a third of the cost of international equivalents.

“This is disruptive technology which will help us monitor the environmental impact of NZ’s primary production systems,” Mr Barrowclough said.

“Our innovation stems from our unique combination of strategy, our people and culture, our collaborative  approach and our strong industry partnerships.,” he said.

“With just 55 staff we regularly punch above our weight when compared to NZ universities and Crown Research Institutes in the highly contested annual MBIE funding rounds.”

In the latest funding round, announced last week, the company was awarded $13 million for two five-year research programmes.

One programme aims to  further understand critical nitrate pathways into groundwater  and the other will assist medical professionals to diagnose bone and tissue damage using hand held non-contact novel technology.

Mr Barrowclough said Lincoln Agritech had experienced significant growth in revenue over the past five years.

Private sector research revenue has increased by almost 400% and revenue for Government-funded research has more than doubled. Repeat business for professional services was 90% in 2017.

Last year, Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Woodhead, won the prestigious Scott Medal for engineering science from the Royal Society Te Apārangi in recognition of the wide range of sensors he has developed for the agricultural and environmental sectors.

Lincoln Agritech is wholly owned by Lincoln University, with an independent board of directors.

Source:  Lincoln Agritech