National Biodiscovery Forum 2011 summary
From research to reality - Translating biodiversity research outcomes through biotechnology | Flinders University - 4 and 5 August 2011
About the forum
The Australian Government established the National Biodiscovery Forum in 2009 to provide an opportunity for biodiscovery and biotechnology researchers to highlight their research and exchange views with science, industry and environmental policy-makers.
In 2011 the National Biodiscovery Forum focused on marine biodiscovery. The newly established Flinders University Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development hosted the forum. Around 100 delegates from across Australia attended the forum.
The program covered a broad range of topics including: marine biodiversity, Australia's marine bioresources collections and the technology available for biodiscovery research. Industrial and environmental applications of biodiscovery were also discussed. On the second day a series of workshops provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion of the marine biotechnology, bioremediation, Australia's access and benefit-sharing legislation and the newly adopted international framework for access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol.
Key outcomes and issues
raised awareness of the wide range of biodiscovery and biotechnology capabilities existing in Australia's research institutions
pointed to the important role of bioresource collections in Australia such as the Queensland Compound Library, the Australian Institute of Marine Science's Bioresources Library, the Western Australian Museum Bioresources Library and the CSIRO Microalgae collection for the supply of genetic resources for industry and the research community
initiated discussions on future collaborate biodiscovery research projects
discussed the emerging international environment for access to genetic resources and pointed to Australia's competitive advantages
outlined the ongoing issue of the 'chasm of death' in linking research outcomes with commercialisation partners.
What did the participants have to say?
"I enjoyed the forum and found it very informative."
"A good opportunity to learn where other groups are placed and what is available to maximise biodiscovery."
"The two days were brim full of great science especially in the industrial and environmental sectors. It was a great opportunity for me as a state government representative to meet with my counterparts across Australia."
"I thought the forum was incredibly well run, well managed and the host organisation very well prepared and accommodating to all delegates."
Principal sponsors: Australian Government (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) and Flinders University