Sensing tech for roads amongst finalists for KiwiNet Research Awards

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 8, 2023

Sensing technology that can spot road problems before they happen is amongst the finalists for this year’s KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards.

The 11th annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards celebrate research innovation with real-world impact.

This year’s awards feature 18 finalists that bring transformative new technologies to the world by commercialising scientific discoveries within New Zealand’s universities, Crown Research Institutes and other research organisations.

TDRI – Lincoln Agritech, is up for the MAS Commercialisation Impact award. TDRI is a spin-out company with breakthrough sensing technology born out of Lincoln Agritech, which can measure subsurface moisture across road networks and generate significant long-term benefits for New Zealand.

“Increased subsurface moisture can accelerate road deterioration by 2.5 times. However, the sector has lacked a good way to measure it across networks with previous methods being inefficient or impractical in delivering quality moisture data at scale,” the company said.

“As such, root causes for road deterioration are often missed in maintenance approaches that predominantly treat surface level symptoms or failures. This leads to unnecessary rework and waste of resources in the short term.”

Generating over $300,000 in the past year working with a range of roading stakeholders, TDRI’s sensing technology enables asset managers to transition from a reactive maintenance approach to one that incorporates preventative drainage and sealing treatments informed by proactive subsurface moisture surveys.

“TDRI’s technology has the potential to generate significant positive impact to the lifetime cost, sustainability and safety of our roads, and ultimately increase export earnings for New Zealand.”

KiwiNet Awards winners for 2023 will be announced at an evening reception on 28 September in Auckland.