Global leaders join the team for biotechnology event

AUCKLAND, 22nd October: It’s not just rugby that brings heavyweights from around the globe to New Zealand, as shown by the line-out of speakers confirmed for a top international agricultural biotechnology conference being held in Rotorua next year.

New Zealand’s biotechnology industry organisation NZBIO is hosting ABIC (Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference) 2012, with support from its Australian counterpart AusBiotech.

Just a year out from the event, keynote speakers are confirmed from some of the world’s leading research, investment and commercial companies in the fields of biotechnology, energy, health, nutrition and food.

That includes agbiotech corporation, Du Pont Agricultural Biotechnology, energy crop producer Ceres, Monsanto and investment firm Burrill & Company.

Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director of BioPacific Ventures, one of the world’s largest food and agriculture focused funds, expects the speaker line-up to get even stronger.

“This is the right time in history to be focusing on agbiotech. ABIC 2012 is taking place on a rising tide of concern about food supplies, food security and the need to invest in biotechnologies that can improve the efficiency and sustainability of food production.

“The conference offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get people who can provide solutions to those issues in one room in a beautiful little country that people love to visit.”

Speakers confirmed so far include:

  • Dr John Bedbrook, Vice President for DuPont Agricultural Biotechnology

  • Dr Richard Flavell, Chief Scientific Officer for Ceres

  • Prof Robert Reiter, Vice President Biotechnology for Monsanto

  • Dr Roger Wyse, Managing Director for Burrill & Company

NZBIO Chief Executive Michelle Sullivan says high calibre speakers from the United States, Europe and Asia will be joined by the best Australasia has to offer in the agbiotech field,

“Achieving the breadth and depth of support promised so far illustrates what a powerful event ABIC 2012 is going to be,” says Dr Sullivan.

The theme of ABIC 2012 is Adapting to a Changing World.


ABIC is attended by industry leaders, researchers and scientists, investors and policy makers who come together to learn about the latest advances in agbiotech and discuss how technologies can be applied to global issues. It will be held in Rotorua from 2- 6 September, 2012.


Further Information

Lynley Browne Tel +64 21 226 8223 Email lynleybrowne@abic2012.com


About ABIC

The first ABIC conference was held in Canada in 1996 and in 1998 the ABIC Foundation was set up to ensure the continued success of ABIC meetings. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation overseen by a board of directors with representation from several countries and based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Its goal is to ensure ongoing opportunities for continuous learning and networking within the agbiotech community through the annual Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference. ABIC conferences are held on a four year rotation in the following regions: Europe/Africa/Middle East; Asia Pacific; United States/Canada/Mexico; and South America.




NZBIO is a vibrant member-based organisation focused on growing New Zealand’s prosperous bioeconomy.  With hundreds of individual and corporate members from across agbiotech, human health, industrial and environmental and food bioscience, NZBIO plays a leading role in providing practical support for companies to grow.  NZBIO’s activities include member events, seminars and conferences, policy advocacy, national and international outreach and promotion. Our membership base ranges from start up bioscience companies, to mature corporates and major multinationals.  We also represent New Zealand research institutes and universities, specialist service professionals, corporate, institutional, individual and student members from New Zealand and around the world. 

NZBIO is an important voice of the New Zealand bioscience sector informing policy makers, enabling collaboration and investment, showcasing New Zealand’s capability to the world and demonstrating how biosciences can contribute to societal, economic and environmental challenges.



About AusBiotech

AusBiotech is Australia's biotechnology industry organisation representing 3,000 members covering the human health, agricultural, medical devices and diagnostics, food technology, environmental and industrial sectors in biotechnology.?AusBiotech is dedicated to the development, growth and prosperity of the Australian biotechnology industry, by providing initiatives to drive sustainability and growth, outreach and access to markets, and representation and support for members nationally and around the world.?Its membership base includes biotechnology companies, ranging from start-ups to mature multinationals, research institutes and universities, specialist service professionals, corporate, institutional, individual and student members from Australia and globally.


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Conference Sponsors

Federated FarmersDupont


Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment | Science& Innovation