News 2017

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

5 Sep 2017
Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich, President of the IAPB, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor of Cork, Prof. Patrick O’Shea, President of UCC and Dr Eoin Lettice, UCC and Treasurer of IAPB at the official launch of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology Congress at University College Cork. IAPB 2018 will take place at the Convention Centre Dublin from 19th-24th August 2018 (Pic: John Sheehan)

The International Association for Plant Biotechnology Congress, organised by BEES academics, will take place in in Ireland for the first time in 2018 and attract over 1,000 scientists.

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. The congress was launched at an event in UCC yesterday.

Taking place at the Dublin Convention Centre from 19th to 24th August 2018, the congress will attract over 1,000 experts and stakeholders in the field of plant biotechnology from around the world. It’s the first time the event has been held in Europe since 1994.

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 and that attracting the event to Ireland was a major boost for plant science research here.

“Plant science and plant biotechnology has never been more important or topical with an increased focus on climate change, food security and bioenergy – 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.

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.

Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science (SEFS) at UCC, Prof. Paul Ross was looking forward to IAPB 2018. “The congress ties in with UCC’s commitment to world-class teaching and research on food production. With our ongoing collaboration with Teagasc, plant science and biotechnology are crucial areas where we can make a real difference to society both nationally and internationally”, said Prof. Ross.

Founded in 1963, the International Association for Plant Biotechnology (IAPB) has as its objectives to promote plant biotechnology, including cell and tissue culture applications. It publishes a peer-reviewed journal in the area and organises the quadrennial congress. The IAPB is the largest international professional organisation representing the interests of the world-wide plant biotechnology community.

For more information on the conference, see

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

Distillery Fields, North Mall, University College Cork, Ireland , T23 N73K.