The Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) aims to support and enhance productivity, efficiency, and sustainability in food and farming through research, education, and technology.
A specialist research institute of the University of Lincoln, our multi-disciplinary team brings together sector-leading expertise in a diverse range of subjects. The Institute is directed by Professor Simon Pearson, who has almost two decades of experience in management and Research and Development roles within the industry, including at some of the UK’s biggest retailers and producers.
LIAT currently has 10 permanent members of staff, including the UK’s first dedicated Professor in agri-robotics, and through its cross-sectoral membership can access world leading specialisms in agriculture, artificial intelligence, robotics, ecology, hydrology, animal welfare, biology, genetics, food manufacturing, mechanical engineering, microbial resistance, new product development, supply chain management, and economics, to name a few.
The Institute’s researchers are engaged in the development of technologies which add value or solve challenges across the food chain, ‘from farm to fork’, working with partners in industry and academia locally, nationally and internationally. Collectively, their aim is to deliver the world class research and higher level skills the UK’s agri-food industries need now and in the future. The University of Lincoln is ranked in the top 200 in the world for Agriculture and Forestry in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
Its headquarters are at the University’s 200-hectare Riseholme Campus just north of Lincoln, where researchers enjoy access to a working farm, woodlands, grasslands and watercourses, LIAT also utilises the exceptional facilities at Lincoln’s main Brayford Pool Campus in the city centre and the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach in southern Lincolnshire.
Applications are now open for fully-funded three-year PhD studentships within Lincoln Agri-Robotics (LAR), the world's first global centre of excellence in agricultural robotics. Students have the opportunity to work on projects that strive to make a real difference in the world, by investigating challenges that face the global agri-food industry: climate change, population growth, political pressures affecting migration, and ageing populations.
The University of Lincoln has a proud track record of developing and delivering solutions for organisations in the farming and food manufacturing sectors.
LIAT takes an innovative and open-minded approach to collaboration, whether it is working with family-run businesses or multi-national corporations, and is proud to be a member of the UK’s Agri-Tech East business-focused cluster. The Institute’s core aim is to connect academic expertise with partners in industry to pursue world class research which takes on real-world challenges and opportunities, not only advancing the state-of-the-art in agri-food technology but improving the bottom line for businesses.
Recent research partners include Moy Park, Branston Limited, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, OAL, Garford Farm Machinery Limited, the Earlham Institute and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, among others.