Liquid-Air engines, hydro-membranes and plant symbiosis all sound like elements of a sci-fi movie set thousands of years in the future, yet these innovations are being developed right now and will be on display at the Emerging Technologies Seminar, as part of the AUSVEG National Convention, held from 30 May – 1 June at Jupiters Gold Coast.

Global experts from a wide range of scientific backgrounds will provide Australian vegetable growers with a vision of the not-too-distant future of food production. 

“This seminar will expose Australian horticulture to the most innovative and exciting agricultural practices from all over the world, providing growers with an idea of how they can adapt their businesses to benefit from the incredible technologies currently being developed,” said AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer, Hugh Gurney.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“As global populations approach nine billion, it is imperative that Australian growers adapt their operations through advances in technology to meet the growing global demand for food,” said Mr Gurney.
This year’s Emerging Technologies Seminar will include a presentation from Mr Yalman A. Khan, Founder and CEO of Dubai enterprise Agricel, who will discuss an innovative solution to water sustainability using hydro-membranes, a sponge-like film which is able to cultivate highly nutritious and pathogen resistant plants. 
Professor Lars Nielson of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology will be discussing Synthetic Biology and the creation of biological systems cataloguing useful plant genes. The application of these systems may allow for new production of ‘Super Plants’, resulting in exceedingly resilient and prolific plant growth. 
“With water and land scarcity an increasing problem globally, growers will need to be able to grow more with less, and these technologies will make this possible,” said Mr Gurney.
Flying in from Abingdon, UK, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Oxitec Dr Luke Alphey will delve into the world of emerging Insect Sterilisation technologies, moving away from conventional chemical controls and instead focusing on breeding ‘lethality genes’ into pest populations
Founding Director and CFO of London based Dearman Engines, Mr Jeremy North, will discuss a revolutionary engine powered by the decompression of liquid air, cooled to -196°C. This revolutionary sustainable technology has numerous practical applications for the technology in the future market place.
“In particular, the industry is excited about hearing from Dr Rusty Rodriguez, CEO of the Seattle based start-up Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies, who will enlighten delegates with a presentation on plant symbiosis – whereby beneficial fungi colonise plant roots, optimising the water and mineral nutrient absorption of their host” said Mr Gurney.
“These technologies sound like they belong in Star Trek, but in reality, they are being developed right now and when they are adopted, it is hoped they will allow Australian growers to ‘live long and prosper’,” said Mr Gurney.
For more information on the AUSVEG National Convention, or to register online, please visit If you are a vegetable levy payer and would like to attend the seminar, please contact AUSVEG on (03) 9822 0388.
Images of speakers are available through the media contact below on request. 
This project has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Senior Communications Officer, AUSVEG
Mob: 0410 047 432 Ph: (03) 9822 0388 Email: