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Bridging Biology & Business

The annual Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) is an essential event for scientists, researchers and other professionals working in the area of agricultural biotechnology. ABIC provides a unique forum where the latest scientific advances in agricultural biotechnology are presented, and where future directions of agricultural biotechnology are highlighted and discussed.

ABIC 2008 was hosted in University College Cork,
Ireland from August 24th to 27th, 2008. The primary sponsor
for the 2008 conference was Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority. Teagasc provides integrated research, advisory and training services for the agri-food industry in Ireland.

 At the official opening of ABIC 2008 were (l to r) Prof. Patrick Fitzpatrick (Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, UCC), Mr. Lyle Stewart (Minister of Enterprise & Innovation, Saskatchewan, Canada), Mr. Billy Kelleher TD (Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment) and Prof. Jimmy Burke (Chair of ABIC 2008 and Head of Teagasc Crops Research Centre).

The theme of ABIC 2008 was Agricultural Biotechnology for a Competitive and Sustainable Future. At a time when global agricultural production (e.g. of food, feed, fibre, fuel) faces very significant challenges due to rising demand, rising prices and population increases, the ABIC 2008 meeting provided the details on how agricultural biotechnology R & D will continue to significantly impact on sustainable social and economic development over the coming years.

Highlighting state of the art scientific research on agricultural biotechnology

The goal of ABIC 2008 was to provide a stimulating forum for delegates to learn about the latest cutting-edge scientific advances in agricultural biotechnology research. The ABIC meeting also facilitated extensive networking and interactions between researchers both from the public and private sectors, and at all levels of career advancement from PhD researcher to CEO.

The conference programme facilitated world-leading authorities on agricultural biotechnology research to present their latest research advances and future directions, across 12 parallel and 2 plenary sessions. Session themes include:

• Ag-biotech: The sustainability challenge facing society (plenary session)

• Biofuels and bioenergy biotechnology research

• Marine & algal biotechnology

• Crop breeding, genetics & genomics

• Domestic animal breeding, genomics & biotechnology

• Role of ag-biotech innovation for national and international competitiveness

• Seed, fruit & reproductive plant biotechnology

• Molecular pharming in plants & animals

• The future of plant genetic engineering

• Ag-biotech regulations, rules & perceptions

• Functional foods, nutrition, nutraceuticals & bioactives

• Agricultural biotechnology & developing countries

• Food & dairy agricultural biotechnology


                                      FULL PROGRAMME


Trade missions/Research opportunities

              Canadian Trade Mission to ABIC 2008

              BIOTEC/NSTDA Thailand Mission to ABIC 2008
Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) will be attending ABIC as a delegation. The objective of the NSTDA/BIOTEC mission will be to introduce research and business in agricultural biotechnology in Thailand to academic, research or private sector in UK and Ireland to establish research or commercial collaboration.

For more details contact:
Michael Garvey, Director ASEAN Region, Enterprise Ireland, Ireland House, 5.01 South Block, The Amp Walk, 218 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
T: +60-3-21640616
M: +60 122268590
e-mail: Michael.Garvey@enterprise-ireland.com


Duangkaew Chongkachornphong (Gal), International Cooperation Division, National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), 113 Phaholyothin Road, Thailand Science Park, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand.
Tel: (66-2) 5646700 Ext. 3516
Fax: (66-2) 5646705

Venue: University College Cork (UCC)
UCC was founded in 1845, and is a progressive dynamic university of over 14,500 students. UCC is one of the premier research universities in Ireland which consistently has the highest research income per annum of all universities in Ireland. In addition to the full-time academic staff, there are approximately 700 full-time researchers in the university, many of which are conducting research in the life sciences sector. UCC has a long and accomplished history of agricultural and food biotechnology research, and is host to a number of research institutes and centres conducting research on agri-food biotechnology. Research institutes conducting agri-food biotechnology research within UCC include the Biosciences Institute, the Environmental Research Institute, and the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre. UCC research centres conducting agri-food relevant research include the Biomerit Research Centre and the Aquaculture and Fisheries Development Centre. Plant biotechnology research is a dedicated research programme within the UCC Biosciences Institute, and UCC also hosts a university-wide Plant Research Platform involving academic research groups and local companies. In conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, UCC has a dedicated BioTransfer Unit that facilitates bio and life sciences business start ups and provides dedicated bio-incubation space for new companies. UCC has a long history of research collaboration with the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, much of which in Ireland is clustered in the Cork region. UCC is focussed on fostering successful start-up biotechnology companies including Luxel Biosciences, EiRx Therapeutics, Alimentary Health, Glantreo and NeuroCure.

Venue: Parking
Parking is available at several locations (see image) around the campus of University College Cork with the primary facilities being just off College Road (P1) and off Western Road (P2).


Cork city

Since the City of Cork was founded by St. Finbarr over 1000 years ago, it has grown from a trading merchant city to a cosmopolitan vibrant 21st century city of today. Located on the South West coast of Ireland, Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland with a population in excess of 123,000. A major European centre for the life science industry with eight of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world located in the greater Cork area, the city is also a university city with a student population in excess of 25,000.

Cork is steeped in history and has a thriving commercial, social and cultural sector. Indeed, Cork city's commitment and contribution to the arts and cultural life is well established with the city home to several galleries and museums. In recognition of this commitment Cork City was chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2005.

Served by Cork International Airport with direct flights to the UK and mainland Europe and connecting flights to other global destinations, the city is ideally situated to explore the south west of Ireland's magnificent scenery. Indeed, the overall quality of life and physical environment of Cork city and its hinterland is excellent and is readily accessible to residents and visitors as evident in the parks, rivers, lakes, tourist attractions, sports and recreational facilities available along with many cultural and heritage attractions.

If ag biotech is your business, ABIC Cork 2008 is the place to be. We look forward to welcoming you next year and providing an unforgettable learning and networking experience.


Yours sincerely,

Prof. Jimmy Burke (Conference Chair)


Dr. Charlie Spillane (Programme Chair)