Aims of the Conference

VIII International Symposium on New Ornamental Crops, XII International Protea Research Symposium and XVII International Protea Association Conference

The aims of this Conference are to provide:

– a forum for researchers from around the globe to present current research on Proteaceae species native to Australia and South Africa, and related plants, and to present the latest research focussed on developing new ornamental crops for world markets

– a forum for 4 keynote speakers to address the wildflower and ornamental community on innovations and new technologies associated with cut flower and pot plant production and postharvest management of Proteaceae and related wildflowers.

– a networking opportunity for ornamental plant and flower producers and marketers, researchers and extension specialists to share experiences and knowledge

– promotion of Australian flora and research through excursions to Kings Park and Botanic Garden, national parks in SW WA and Western Australian plant and wildflower growers and exporters.

Conference background:

The international Protea community established the International Protea Association (IPA) in 1984, following a successful meeting of growers in Melbourne. The IPA has since grown to include 15 member countries.

The Ornamental Section of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) approved the formation of a Protea Working Group at a meeting in August 1983.   The International Protea Working Group (IPWG) was established at Stellenbosch in 1985 as a specialised group of the Ornamental Section of the International Society of Horticultural Scientists. It was agreed that the word “Protea” encompasses genera of the Proteaceae family such as Protea, Leucospermum, Leucadendron, Orothamnus, Paranomus, Mimetes and Serruria from South Africa.  Also included are many Australian genera such as:  Adenanthos, Conospermum, Isopogon, Petrophile, Banksia, Grevillea, Hakea, Lambertia and Telopea.

The first joint meeting between protea growers and researchers was held in 1986. Growers were represented by the IPA and researchers by the IPWG.  Since this first joint meeting, communication between growers and researchers has continued, with the publication of 9 Acta Horticulturae reporting proceedings of IPWG symposia.

The IPA represents all links in the value chain of global commercial protea production and offers researchers, propagators, producers, marketers, breeders and educators an open forum of communication and friendship to promote and expand the industry for the benefit of all.

By the end of April 2012, 15 IPA conferences and 11 IPWG Symposia had been held in almost every Proteaceae producing part of the world including: Santiago, Chile; Lisbon, Portugal; Stellenbosch, South Africa; San Diego, California; Melbourne, Australia; Tenerife, Spain and Hawaii, USA.

At the last IPA conference in April 2012 in Chile, the IPA was requested to conduct their next conference in conjunction with the New Ornamentals Working Group of the ISHS since many Australian native flora are considered new and novel species yet to be fully developed commercially. This request has been addressed by organising this joint conference to be held in August, Perth 2015.

The New Ornamentals Working Group held its last Symposium, the VII International Symposium on New Floricultural Crops in 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Perth symposium will be an important forum for researchers who specialise in developing new ornamental crops sourced from all over the world. The pot plant, garden and landscape markets are constantly seeking new and improved products. The rich plant biodiversity found in Australia, and in certain other parts of the world, offers huge opportunities to select native species and develop them in cultivation as novel ornamental products. For this reason this Symposium is taking place in Western Australia, a biodiversity hot spot, where more new species are found each year than in the entire European continent.

The program will address the many aspects of developing new ornamental crops, from the collection of promising new plants in the wild, development of propagation and cultivation techniques, application of classic plant breeding and biotechnology approaches to develop improved forms, development of mass propagation and cultivation systems, securing legal protection of new varieties and marketing them successfully in a very competitive marketplace.

About ISHS

The International Society for Horticultural Science – ISHS – is the world’s leading independent organisation of horticultural scientists. Membership is open to all interested researchers, educators, students and horticultural industry professionals. ISHS has over 7,000 Individual Members from all over the world, a substantial number of Institutional Members and some 50 Member States/Countries.

It is a major source of up-to-date information on global horticultural research. ISHS aims to promote research in all branches of horticulture. ISHS aims ‘to promote and encourage research and education in all branches of horticultural science and to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale through its symposia and congresses, publications and scientific structure’.

ISHS manages this comprehensive scientific program covering the full range of horticultural science through a series of bodies known as Sections and Commissions, each of which communicates with members who have specific research interests. Sections cover the horticultural crops grown around the world. Commissions relate to different scientific and technical disciplines within horticulture.

Sections and Commissions establish Working Groups that focus on specialised subject areas. Currently there are more than 100 such Working Groups and others are formed when a need is identified.

Included in the full 2015 conference registration is a personal copy of the Conference proceedings which will be a dedicated issue of Acta Horticulturae, to be published by the International Society of Horticultural Science.

The expected outcomes of this Conference are:

– enhanced knowledge and awareness of new research and innovations amongst the commercial and research communities focussed on Proteaceae and related plants for the cut flower, pot plant, garden and landscaping market.

– enhanced knowledge and awareness of new research and innovations amongst the commercial and research communities focussed on new ornamental plants for pot plant, garden and landscaping markets

– increased awareness of the current and potential contribution of Australian flora to global markets, leading to potential expansion of global interest and markets

– an opportunity to re-invigorate the Australian wildflower industry by showcasing wildflowers to the international ornamental community at a conference dedicated to wildflowers.

– development of new research collaborations and business transactions in the Proteaceae and new ornamental crop communities, enhancing the strength of these industries.