2018 AORA Annual Conference

This year’s 2018 AORA Annual Conference will explore user experiences in using recycled organics for soil health, as well as considering its risks and contamination management, writes Martin Tower, Executive Director of the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA).

The AORA Annual Conference is well established as the principal conference in Australia for the recycled organics industry. Each conference is a forum for education, discussion and networking.

It features workshops, presentations, a gala dinner, networking function and industry tours. This is an opportunity to gain insight to the latest achievements in the organics recycling industry.

This event will provide industry stakeholders with access to prominent experts in the field of organics recycling as they share their expertise and knowledge, demonstrate their apparatus and techniques and showcase their innovative ideas. It will also discuss the latest developments and issues in organics recovery.

The theme for this year’s conference – Recycled Organics – The Circular Economy in Action – will explore user experiences in using recycled organics for soil health, as well as considering its risks and contamination management.

TWO OF THE PRESENTATIONS

Meet the keynote: Professor Ramani Narayan.

Ramani Narayan is University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, USA, in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Professor Narayan will speak in the opening keynote session on certified compostable polymers and their role in organic diversion through global best practices.

Dr Narayan has 153 refereed publications in leading journals to his credit, 28 issued patents and he has edited three books and one expert dossier in the area of bio-based polymeric materials. His research encompasses design and engineering of sustainable, biobased products, biodegradable plastics and polymers, biofiber reinforced composites, reactive extrusion polymerisation and processing, and studies in plastic end-of-life options such as biodegradation and composting. It involves developing carbon and environmental footprint of biobased and biodegradable plastics and products using biocarbon content analysis (ASTM D6866) and LCA (life-cycle assessment) methodology.

Presentation highlight: The Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) is bringing together scientists, industry and farmers to find practical solutions to Australia’s underperforming agricultural soils. Underperforming soils cost Australian farmers billions of dollars a year in lost revenue.

The Soil CRC therefore aims to enable farmers to increase their productivity and profitability by providing them with knowledge and tools to improve the performance of their soils.

It is the biggest collaborative soil research effort in Australia’s history, with eight universities, three state government agencies, 19 farmer groups and a range of industry partners. It is funded until 2027 by the Federal Government and its 39 partners to deliver outcomes identified by farmers as being critical to the success of Australian agriculture.

Four programs will deliver these outcomes: Program 1 – investing in high performance soils, Program 2 – soil performance metrics, Program 3 – new products to increase fertility and function and Program 4 – integrated and precision soil management solutions. Program 3, with its focus on creating new soil amendments and delivery mechanisms, is most relevant to the organics recycling sector. This program proposes to deliver new organic fertiliser products to meet fast-growing market demand, new materials to address surface and subsurface soil constraints and effective delivery mechanisms for beneficial microorganisms to plants.

The Soil CRC is led by Chief Executive Officer Dr Michael Crawford who has more than 25 years’ experience in extension, research and science management in areas related to soil science, farming systems and natural resource management.

He has operated at senior levels of government and research management, worked with grower groups and farming communities, and has strong relationships with relevant industry stakeholders, universities and government departments.

The 2018 AORA Annual Conference will be held at Hotel Jen Brisbane from 2–4 May 2018.

For more information visit: www.aoraconference.com.au

FAST FACT

A new feature of the conference this year will be an Equipment Demonstration Day on Wednesday, 2 May 2018. It will allow attendees to see grinders, screeners, turners and other equipment in operation and meet with manufacturers, see the equipment up close and compare different models all in the one place.

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are also available at the event. Attracting sector leaders, decision makers, management, scientists and researchers as well as consultants to the industry, the AORA Annual Conference offers the opportunity to showcase the latest equipment and services in a face-to-face environment to a targeted audience.