Innovating for 60 years

2024 marks Lincoln Agritech’s 60th anniversary. Founded in 1964 as the New Zealand Agricultural Engineering Institute (NZAEI), it originally undertook applied research to accelerate agricultural engineering innovation in New Zealand.

Our early research concentrated on tractor safety frame testing, fencing, carcass disposal, farm water supply, and agricultural aviation, financed mainly by Ministry of Agriculture grants. In 1979, NZAEI opened a second research division in Ruakura, Hamilton.

In 1994, NZAEI merged with the Kellogg Farm Management Unit and the Centre for Resource Management to form Lincoln Ventures Ltd. In 2012, the company changed its name to Lincoln Agritech Ltd to reflect its unique position as an independent agritech-focused science and engineering research company, owned by Lincoln University.

From its beginnings as primarily a heavy machinery testing facility, Lincoln Agritech has expanded to become a leading innovator for the agricultural, industrial, and environmental sectors. We have grown from one staff member when formed in 1964 to more than 80 in 2024.

Our early research focus has expanded to include research disciplines such as Biotechnology, GreenTech, New Materials and more. Our current impact areas are sustainable production, protecting water resources, enhancing natural materials, and action on climate change.

Many technology innovations developed at Lincoln Agritech over the past 60 years have been adopted by the primary sector in New Zealand and worldwide.

Examples include:

  • IRRICADTM is the global leader in irrigation design software, developed by irrigation engineers at Lincoln Agritech and sold in more than 90 countries.
  • Real-time non-contact soil moisture sensors are delivering up to 20% water savings to growers in the USA through licensee Autonomous Pivot’s AI-driven systems.
  • HydroMetrics nitrate sensors are being deployed around the world, enabling users to become guardians of the land and water.

As the issues of climate change, environmental sustainability and food security create ever-more complex challenges for primary industries, governments, and communities, Lincoln Agritech continues to evolve to meet those challenges.

Read about our first 50 years in this booklet.