LESANZ Geelong Conference 2023 - Wrap Up

On March 9th and 10th, the LESANZ (Licensing Executives Society Australia and New Zealand) Annual Conference finally took place at the beautiful Waurn Pond Estate, located on the Deakin University campus in Geelong, Australia. After the Covid-19 pandemic forced many events to go virtual, this conference marked a welcome return to in-person gatherings, and it attracted a diverse group of delegates.

The event began with an opening speech by outgoing president Mark Pullen, followed by a fascinating presentation from Andrew Burgess of Cobram Estate Olives. Burgess discussed how his company is disrupting the traditional design of olive groves and developing new harvesters, showcasing Cobram Estate's intelligent use of IP to enhance all aspects of their business. This talk aligned with the conference's theme of "connecting country to global," highlighting the company's goal to produce the world's best extra virgin olive oil.

Throughout the conference, attendees engaged in a dynamic format of presentations and panel discussions, offering plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion. For instance, the Agri-tech session brought together experts from SproutX and Growave to discuss startups in the agricultural technology sector. Meanwhile, the Collaborating for Commercial Success session showcased Deakin University's impact on manufacturing, featuring presentations from Formflow and Carbon Revolution, the latter of which left attendees impressed with their cutting-edge carbon fiber wheels.

Other highlights included a panel discussion on Indigenous Cultural Knowledge and IP, providing valuable insights into the progress and challenges faced by indigenous peoples in New Zealand and Australia. The conference dinner, held at the House of Jack Rabbit overlooking Port Phillip Bay, provided a perfect intermission with wine tasting, a mussel cooking demonstration, and engaging conversations.

On the second day of the conference, attendees learned about the latest space regulations and IP from the Director of Regulatory Operations at the Australian Space Agency and the Chief Product Officer from Fleet Space Technologies. They also delved into the challenges and opportunities of the digital landscape, with a presentation providing intriguing insights into Chat GPT and its potential impact on operations.

Finally, the conference closed with the introduction of incoming president Sue Muggleston from the New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research, who announced that the 2024 conference would be held in Sydney and mark the 50th anniversary of LESANZ. With the conference team already busy developing plans to entice everyone to Sydney in March 2024, attendees left excited for the next event.