WNT Ventures and Lincoln Agritech are pleased to announce their partnership to commercialise a range of advanced sensor technologies. A new company, TDRI Limited, has been created to commercialise the patented technology, which has been licensed from Lincoln Agritech.

Lincoln Agritech has developed a range of remote and portable sensing technologies based on microwaves and the use of time domain reflectometry imaging (TDRi). TDRi can be used to precisely identify characteristics such as moisture patches within a medium (e.g. soil), allowing an unprecedented level of insight into sub-surface structures that is simply not possible using traditional invasive ground sensors.

The potential for the technology extends to a range of applications from the agriculture and food sectors to construction, security, optics, and beyond. However, the company will focus initially on developing the technology for non-invasive mobile sensing devices for the road construction sector.

WNT Ventures Investment Manager, Jon Sandbrook, commented that “This technology offers a huge advantage over existing products in the market. It allows accurate and continuous analysis of subsurface components and overcomes the drawbacks of cumbersome and costly single-point detection methods.” He continues that “customers will have the ability to analyse subsurface patterns non-invasively and in real time, dramatically improving their ability to deliver high quality and consistent road surfaces.”

The seed investment and ongoing support from Tauranga-based WNT Ventures will see the optimisation of the technology and development of commercial sensing products, as well as supporting scaling and, ultimately, entry into global markets.

As a technology incubator, WNT Ventures will also facilitate support for the company through Callaghan Innovation’s Technology Incubator Programme – an initiative aimed at supporting the commercialisation of complex products and technologies which are often derived out of research and development.

Lincoln Agritech Chief Scientist and co-inventor of the technology, Dr Ian Woodhead, commented “It’s great to be able to partner with WNT Ventures to bring this technology to the market. The research shows that there’s a real technical benefit to the TDRi technology, and we’re excited to have an experienced player like WNT alongside us to bring that benefit to the commercial world.”

Carl Jones, WNT Ventures CEO, said “We are excited to have the TDRi technology join our portfolio and we look forward to working alongside Lincoln Agritech on this opportunity.”


WNT Ventures is a technology incubator and early-stage investor. WNT Ventures targets investments in pre-revenue, technology-centric start-up companies with global potential. TDRI Limited is the newest addition to WNT’s portfolio of investments, which includes the likes of Nyriad, Avertana, Mastaplex, and Mint Innovation.


Lincoln Agritech is a multidisciplinary research and development company owned by Lincoln University. Lincoln Agritech delivers leading-edge science and engineering knowledge and technologies into environmental, primary, processing and new materials applications.

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