World experts on aquaculture and plant biotechnology will converge on Victoria after the securing of two major international conferences in Melbourne.
Melbourne has won the rights to host the International Association for Plant Biotechnology (IAPB) Congress 2014 and the Australasian Aquaculture International Conference and Tradeshow 2012.
Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) Sandra Chipchase said these two major, international conferences were expected to attract more than 2500 delegates and inject more than $13 million into the Victorian economy.
“The IAPB Congress has never been held in Australia before, but Melbourne’s excellent infrastructure and MCVB’s innovative bidding strategies have secured this event for 2014,” Ms Chipchase said.
“The MCVB also worked with the National Aquaculture Council since 2003 to win the Aquaculture Conference.”
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Biosciences Research Executive Director and elected IAPB President, Professor German Spangenberg, said important topics to be discussed at the IAPB Congress included climate change impacts on agriculture, drought, biofuels advances and biosafety.
“This Congress will be of great benefit to Australia’s agriculture biotechnology sector and will also provide an opportunity to showcase excellent work being undertaken in Victoria,” Professor Spangenberg said.
Professor Spangenberg said the world faced major challenges in feeding a growing population, expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, including the major humanitarian challenge to alleviate hunger, malnutrition and poverty, which is afflicting more than 1 billion people world-wide.
“Plant Biotechnology has emerged as a critical platform to contribute to meeting this challenge, and we look forward to progressing our knowledge on this important field in Melbourne in 2014,” Professor Spangenberg said.
Professor Spangenberg said the Australasian Aquaculture International Conference would deal with contemporary issues around the aquaculture industry’s development and sustainability.
“Seafood is Australia’s fourth most valuable food-based primary industry, with Victorian commercial fisheries’ production worth around $87 million per year,” he said.
“This makes Melbourne a perfect destination for aquaculture leaders in industry and science, research and development to meet.”
World Aquaculture Society – Asia Pacific President Roy Palmer said there was an urgent need to increase both capacity and capability of the seafood industry.