SCIENCE: Plant biotechnology congress to attract over 1,000 scientists to Ireland in 2018

4 September 2017
By Bryan Smyth

At the official launch of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology at University College Cork were from left, Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich , President of the IAPB and UCC lecturer, Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor of Cork,
Prof. Patrick O’Shea, President of University College Cork and Dr Eoin Lettice, University College Cork and Treasurer IAPB.
Pic John Sheehan

The International Association for Plant Biotechnology Congress 2018 (IAPB 2018) was officially launched at an event in University College Cork today. The President of the IAPB is Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich who is based in UCC. The congress will take place at the Dublin Convention Centre from 19th to 24th August 2018 and aims to attract over 1,000 delegates to Ireland.

IAPB 2018 will bring together leading experts in the field of plant biotechnology from around the world. It is the first time the event will be held in Ireland and the first time the event has been held in Europe since 1994.
Held every four years, the congress will hear details of pioneering research in the area of plant biotechnology and allow for in-depth discussion on the various themes associated with the area, including: food and nutritional security; new plant breeding techniques; the plant microbiome; CRISPR-CAS and plant genetic transformation.

President of the IAPB and UCC lecturer Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich said the congress will bring together world-leading plant scientists.

“It’s very exciting to be bringing the IAPB congress to Ireland for the first time and we are planning to attract more than 1,000 delegates from every corner of the globe. Plant science and plant biotechnology has never been more important or topical with an increased focus on climate change, food security and plant disease – all things that plant biotechnology has a role in”, said Dr Doyle Prestwich.

Keynote speakers, she added, will include Professor Christine Raines of the University of Essex; Professor Kevin Folta of the University of Florida and Professor Prakash Kumar of the National University of Singapore.
In a message to the organisers, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Mr Michael Creed, TD welcomed the news that the congress was coming to Ireland in 2018. “The agriculture and food sector plays a vital role in Ireland’s economic recovery with exports amounting to €11.15 billion in 2016. Having world-leading scientists in the area of plant biotechnology in Ireland in 2018 will allow discussion as to how innovative technologies can form a part of Ireland’s unique agri-food sector, the development of which is outlined in our Food Wise 2025 plan. I look forward to hearing the results from what is sure to be a scientifically interesting and fruitful congress”, said Minister Creed.

File photo of Prof. Patrick O’Shea, President of UCC
Photo: Cathal Noonan

Speaking at the launch, Professor Patrick O’Shea, President of UCC said that the university was delighted to be involved in bringing the IAPB congress to Ireland. “UCC is committed to excellence in teaching and research. It’s an important part of our role to attract such major world conferences to Ireland and to facilitate discussion and collaboration in plant science and other important research areas”, said Prof. O’Shea.

The presidency of the IAPB is currently held by Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich (University College Cork) with Dr Eoin Lettice (University College Cork) and Dr Ewen Mullins (Teagasc) forming the executive team.

For more information on the conference, see

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