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About Lincoln Agritech

Lincoln Agritech Ltd (LAL) is a for-purpose, leading-edge research and development company with a 60-year track record of applying new and innovative engineering and science technologies to support agriculture, industry and the environment. We are owned by Lincoln University, New Zealand, and commercialise with external partners our promising work; a few we sell as products ourselves around the world (e.g. for irrigation design and nitrate measurement).

Mission: Our ambition is that industry and communities thrive in a healthy environment. Our mission is innovative research and development of sustainable solutions through partnership with primary industry, Māori, and government.

Our Expertise: With a staff of more than 80, we have scientists working in:

  • Advanced Engineering: Our advanced engineering research includes microwaves, radar, robotics, hardware and electronics, and medical imaging.
  • Biotechnology: Our biotechnology research is focused on the use of micro-organisms to enhance plant growth, manage disease, and improve agricultural and waste processing.
  • Data Science: For processing, modelling, visualisation, machine learning, statistical analysis, and database management to extract decision support or machine control.
  • GreenTech: science research involves new methods and techniques to technically reduce emissions agriculture and waste management – methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide.
  • New Materials: (I) based on manipulation and reconstruction of natural fibres and materials; and (II) artificial materials with properties that don’t occur in nature (e.g. metamaterials).
  • Water Science: Our environmental team focuses on groundwater systems and the wider environment those systems interact with. Location & Facilities
  • Precision Agriculture: Create, advance, and use digital tools, decision support, and actuators/robots in industries and identify the benefits for production and the environment.

Role & Impact: We focus on R&D in protecting water, sustainable production, high-value natural materials, and climate action, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 9 and 12. We contribute to global impact through partnerships with research and development users.

Our places: LAL’s head office is located on the Lincoln University campus, just outside Christchurch, New Zealand, where we have four laboratories: GreenTech, Microwave, Biotechnology, and Precision Agriculture. We also have an office in Ruakura, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Lincoln Agritech'S ROLE AT THE PROJECT

LincolnAgritech contributes to the different Work Packages of the STELLA project. A collaboration with the national project of New Zealand apple industry and New Zealand government (‘Smart & Sustainable) is providing win-win effects for both projects.

WP2: Data Collection, Processing, and Modelling: LincolnAgritech contributes expertise to tasks: T2.1 – on establishing Trial Protocols and Data Collection Protocols for the Use Case Pilots (UCP) in New Zealand and collecting data for the creation of AI algorithms aimed at disease detection (‘Neofabraea alba’ – Bull’s Eyes Rot of apples). T2.2 Proximal, IoT and Remote sensing data collection – includes collecting data required for the risk modelling work in WP2 of the project (weather, crop management, residue management), data about the crop itself (e.g. canopy assessment with the ‘Viewer’ from Edencore) as well as sampling spores of the disease (e.g. with the spore sampler from Pessl Instruments) to monitor airborne fungal spores concentration to identify the onset of the fungal diseases (Neofabraea alba in New Zealand) and to monitor their progression over time. T2.4 – Crowdsourcing (citizen science), e.g. with citizen science instructing and involving interested poeple in the growing region, based on training in workshops in New Zealand (1 per year) activities using the project’s smartphone app and to provide hands on training on how to use the app to collect and upload images of pests and diseases that effect their crops.

WP3: STELLA Platform: Lincoln Agritech participates in task T3.5 – Platform Evaluation and Exploitation, aiding in the design and evaluation of the STELLA PSS platform.

WP4: Use Case Pilots (UCPs): Managing and conducting research on the project’s Use Case Pilot, conducting tests and evaluations over three years of the STELLA PSS on N. alba disease in apple orchards of New Zealand’s largest fruit growing region (Hawkes Bay). this includes the tasks: T4.1 – Preparation, Planning, and Evaluation Protocol Definition of the UCP N. alba in New Zealand T4.2 – UCP Execution and Monitoring, using the STELLA system (apps, material) will be tested and provide input and guidance for subsequent versions T4.3 – UCP Evaluation on measures of accuracy, information content and reliability.

WP5: Policy Recommendations and Cost Benefit Analysis. LincolnAgritech (UCP5: ‘New Zealand’, apples) provides national or industry-based policy recommendations, particularly in task: T5.2 – Policy recommendations on adoption of digital technologies, focusing on the adoption of digital technologies in the apple fruit sector of New Zealand.

New Zealand

Dr. Armin Werner