Science and Innovation Summit

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Around eighty people gathered for NZPPI's inaugural Plant Producer Science and Innovation Summit in Rotorua on 4 and 5 May 2017. All added to the air of excitement that heralded a new era for NZPPI and our plant producer community.

We heard about::

  • A large SE Asia nursery became fungicide-free using kiwi ingenuity. 
  • CRIs and Universities want to use government funds to work on new science projects for PPI, but they just need to know what we want!
  • There are opportunities to use science and technology to reduce waste stream issues and for nurseries to become more sustainable.
  • New science can speed up the PEQ process and save time and money.
  • Robots and automation are being developed to make nurseries more productive ... more here
  • Endophytes can revolutionise the nursery industry as they have for pasture grasses.
  • New and rapid tools for detecting pathogens – even in irrigation water.

And we're gathering speaker presentations, and posting them to this page.

It was a great success, clearly evident in delegate, Nicola Rochester's, observations following.

It Got Me Thinking

It was fantastic to participate in the Science Summit.   Much will come out of it that will be a catalyst to taking our industry to a higher level in many ways. 

The announcement of myrtle rust at the Summit did fill the room with a sense of foreboding but after listening to the scientist and the diagnostic kit they developed for myrtle rust for MPI I got a glimmer of hope.  Then listening about genetic markers work to speed up selection and breeding for traits in the forestry sector made me realise that there are answers amongst us.   It was only minutes before someone asked the question “could genetic markers be found for myrtle rust resistance” and the answer was given that there had already been work done on this and I started to feel quite optimistic about the future and my mind started wandering around how many fab new ornamental plants we could have with this breeding technique. 

Then there was all the talk and presentations around mycorrhizas & trichoderma which got me thinking ‘underground’. 

While robotics is not really my thing, but when I saw the cool stuff Waikato University was involved in, you couldn’t help being addicted! 

After participating in the Science Summit, you realise that it is forums such as this that extend your mind and your imagination and being in amongst a diverse range of people from all sectors is critical to this but we must reach out. 

We must reach out to the science community, the team leaders, communicators and the universities and let them get to know us the people involved in Plant Production, our industry.  All we need to do is to be a willing participant with an open mind and a smile on our dial! 

Thanks to the board of NZPPI for the vision and making it happen.

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Speakers Presentations

  • New plant cultivar production through innovation - John Caradus, CEO Grasslanz Technology
    “Endophytes can revolutionise the nursery industry as they have for pasture grasses”
  • What's driving innovation in the nursery industry - now and in the future?
  • Painting the complicated landscape of New Zealand science - Kat Webb, Scion Business Development Manager
  • Callaghan Innovation overview - Nicky Maolloy, Business Innovation Advisor, Callaghan Innovation
  • The Myrtle Rust threat - Beccy Ganley, Scion Research Leader, B3
    “Myrtle rust is potentially a ticking time bomb.”
  • Scion's initiatives in new plant production technology - Heidi Dungey, Scion Science Leader
    "Scion’s plans to automate propagation systems and nurseries”
  • What areas of science and technology have significant potential to drive innovation in the nursery industry? - Ed Morgan, Plant and Food Research Science Leader
    “We can make nurseries far more sustainable than what they are!”
  • Kiwi ingenuity leads to fungicide-free nurseries - Robert Hill - Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln
    “A large SE Asia nursery became fungicide-free using kiwi ingenuity”
  • The brave new world of nursery production - Mike Duke, University Waikato “Robots and automation are being developed to make nurseries more productive" - coming soon


We gratefully acknowledge the support of AGMARDT


Speakers, Programme, Registration