New Zealand: International licensing experts visit Auckland to ‘save the world’
Last Updated: 2 February 2012

Some of the world's best commercial licensing experts will descend on Auckland in April for a conference about how innovations can be commercialised to 'save' a planet under threat from environmental and social catastrophe.

The Licensing Executives Society International's (LESI) 2012 global conference is being held in Auckland from 1 to 4 April, and has attracted experts from business, science, academia and government.

Simon Rowell, a partner at James & Wells Intellectual Property and spokesman for LESI 2012, says more than 400 attendees will consider, debate and learn lessons from how innovation is being commercialised to provide solutions to the threats of disease, poverty, food shortages, population pressure and environmental destruction.

"There are some incredible innovations which could eliminate, or at least help alleviate, many global problems. But we need to ensure they are quickly brought to commercial viability, through licensing or other forms of technology transfer.

"LES International will put the spotlight on this, and we have some of the world's great minds as keynote speakers," says Simon Rowell.

They include: Gunter Pauli, creator of the 'blue economy' concept, and developer of a business model which supports less waste and emissions; Mark Stevenson, a British futurologist and expert in cryptography and computer-aided systems engineering; and Dr Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, and Secretary-General of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.

"This is a rare opportunity for New Zealand and Australian licensing executives to hear first hand from such luminaries, and see a meeting of their minds, in our part of the world," says Simon Rowell.

"It is critical that we address issues which threaten life as we know it on a global scale. Commercialising innovation can play a crucial role in solutions to many of the world's pressing issues."

Not to be outdone, the Anzacs will be contribute keynote addresses, with New Zealand's healthcare guru, Sir Ray Avery, Dr Ben McNeil (leading Australia's new generation of economic thinkers), and Nick Gerritson – a Marlborough-based catalyst and clean tech entrepreneur.

"New Zealanders are creating some fantastic innovations, and these can be a huge export earner, contributing millions to our economy. The key is to protect and exploit our valuable intellectual property through watertight licensing structures and global deals," says Simon Rowell.

To find out more about LESI 2012 and register to attend, please see

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