WELLINGTON, June 29 - The linked buildings will accommodate nearly 700 staff, students and academics, says Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith.

They'll be state-of-the-art research units and will be shared with AgResearch.

"The investment will help Lincoln University's recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes by replacing damaged buildings with modern teaching and research space," he said on Thursday.

"The new facility will make an important contribution to creating a globally competitive agri-tech industry."

In total, the buildings will cover 27,000 square metres.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by December 2019.