Who’s who of global agri-biotech to gather in Melbourne


International lead researchers and experts that are challenging our understanding of agricultural biotechnology will discuss the constraints and opportunities in innovation and commercialisation, as AusBiotech hosts the Agricultural Bioscience International Conference (ABIC) 2015 with the theme: 'New thinking, new discoveries and new applications'.

Building on past accomplishments to create a strong and sustainable industry, the program will celebrate innovation in agricultural biotechnology with over 25 international speakers, including: Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, and Senior Fellow at the World Food Center Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, University of California-Davis, speaking on public acceptance of agricultural biotechnology.

Technological advancements in agricultural biotechnology are accelerating at an exponential rate. How do we plan for future challenges around public perception and ensure acceptance keeps pace with development?

Entine postulates about whether a sceptical public be persuaded to embrace foods with genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

Entine says: “The answer to that question differs sharply whether we are talking about Western countries or the more economically-challenged and agriculturally poorer developing world.”

“In Western capitals, from Sydney to San Francisco, we have contradictory views of technology. While we embrace the communications revolution and ‘worship at the feet’ of Apple, many people profess fear at a modified apple that resists premature browning.

“When it comes to the basics of life such as food and energy, eco-romanticism abounds. It has become a mark of Euro-sophistication to bemoan supermarket bread while yearning for brick ovens; seek out heirloom fruits and vegetables over hybrid corn; or ridicule scientists who develop high-yielding modern crops whose genes have been tweaked to use fewer chemical inputs.”

The ABIC 2015 conference is a rare opportunity to hear from such esteemed local and international experts and also features:

  • Jennifer Armen, Director, Business Development and Marketing, Okanagan Speciality Fruits, Canada
  • Jack Bobo, Chief Communications Officer, Intrexon Corporation
  • Graham Brookes, Director, PG Economics, UK
  • Jay Byrne, President, v-Fluence Interactive, USA
  • Denise Dewar, Executive Director - Plant Biotechnology, CropLife International
  • A/Prof Sharon Doty, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
  • Dr Scott Fahrenkrug, CEO, Recombinetics, USA
  • Dr Peter Jones, Director Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Canada
  • Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director & Co-Founder, BioPacific Partners, New Zealand
  • Andrew McConville, Head of Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, Syngenta, Singapore
  • Prof Maurice Moloney, Executive Director and CEO, Global Institute for Food Security, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Michael Raymont, Managing Director, VAC Capital, USA
  • Dr Andrew Roberts, Recombinetics, Hong Kong
  • Prof Stuart Smyth, Industry Funded Research Chair in Agri-Food Innovation, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Ry Wagner, CEO, Agrinos, USA
  • Prof David Zilberman, Professor, Berkeley, University of California, USA

View the full program here.

Asian Delegation
ABIC 2015 will welcome delegations from China, South Korea and Vietnam with the following delegates speaking in the conference program:

  • Prof Shuhong Zhao, Chair of Centre for Swine Genomics, Huazhong Agricultural University
  • Patrick Kwok, Vice President, China Huishan Dairy Holdings Company Ltd, China
  • Dr Qiang Xu, Principal, Decheng Capital, China
  • Stephen Scoones, Director, Salix Resources Ltd, China
  • Rob Scott, Director, China BlueSky Partners, China

About ABIC 2015
ABIC 2015 is the premier global meeting promoting innovation in bioscience to ensure sustainable food, feed, fibre and fuel security as the climate changes.