World IP Day 2024 panel discussion. IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity.

World IP Day 2024 panel discussion. IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity.

Join us to hear from inspiring speakers across the innovation and business sectors to mark World Intellectual Property Day 2024.

Event banner. Includes title of event, the IPONZ and NZIPA logos, and World IP Day illustrations showing fingers holding a seed and seeds leaving a dandelion flower, evoking thoughts of hope for the future

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) and New Zealand Intellectual Property Attorneys Inc (NZIPA) invite you to a special panel discussion in celebration of World IP Day 2024.

The 2024 theme is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an urgent call for action, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.

The 17 goals recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Our panel will focus on what this means from a New Zealand perspective – what innovative solutions are Kiwis making that can help big global problems, and how can intellectual property help?

Event details:

  • Date: Thursday 2 May 2024
  • Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm
  • Venue: Online via Teams
  • Cost: Free

Register for World IP Day 2024 panel discussion:

World IP Day panel discussion register — Microsoft Virtual Events - Teams


  • Veronica Stevenson. CEO, Founder and Executive Director, Humblebee
  • Richard Newcomb. Head Scientist, Plant & Food Research
  • Kane Alward. EVP Carbon Zero Transition and R&D, Fisher & Paykel Appliances
  • Janice Cheng. Group Manager – Business Operations, Hot Lime Labs


  • Duncan de Geest. Principal, AJ Park.
Photo of Duncan de Geest

Photo of Duncan de Geest

Profiles of speakers:

Veronica Stevenson

CEO, Founder and Executive Director, Humblebee

Photo of Veronica Stevenson

Photo of Veronica Stevenson

Veronica is the CEO and Founder of New Zealand’s leading biomaterials start up. Humble Bee Bio is on a mission to build novel biomaterials that solve market and environmental problems. First up is using biomimicry to capture information encoded within a solitary bee’s genome to create a new plastic that is safe for people and the planet. Humble Bee Bio’s first product looks to provide a safe alternative to the existing harmful plastics used in everything from biomedical devices to cosmetic formulas.

Veronica’s vision for a sustainable humanity in harmony with the environment weaves together the best of science, communication, and business. An embodied venn diagram of all three, she  holds a BSc in Reproductive Anatomy and Structural Biology, a Master’s in Science Communication and is active in the New Zealand Impact Entrepreneurship community.

Veronica is the Chair for the Return on Science Momentum Investment Committee in Wellington, has been a Judge for KiwiNet's Science Commercialisation Awards, mentor for CreativeHQ's Venture Up workshops, and a TEDx speaker. She skilfully pulls academic research into alignment with market needs, builds multidisciplinary teams, and translates technical outcomes into business strategy.

Richard Newcomb

Head Scientist, Plant & Food Research

Photo of Richard Newcomb

Photo of Richard Newcomb

Richard is responsible for science quality, science strategy, strategic collaborations and science capability development within Plant & Food Research. He also oversees the organisation’s fundamental research, which is focused on strategies toward feeding the future food demand from the growing megacities of the world. We call this area Ngā Pou Rangahau – Growing Futures.

Richard completed his BSc and MSc in Zoology at the University of Auckland, followed by a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Australian National University based at the CSIRO in Canberra.

He has broad research interests focused on the biology, genetics and evolution of odour sensing in animals, is a co-author on over 100 publications and an inventor on 5 patents. He is currently a member of the Marsden Council at the Royal Society of New Zealand, Te Aparangi.

Kane Alward

EVP Carbon Zero Transition and R&D, Fisher & Paykel Appliances

Photo of Kane Alward

Photo of Kane Alward

Kane works as Fisher & Paykel Appliances Executive VP Carbon Zero Transition and Research & Development. This role was created to strengthen Fisher & Paykel’s focus on addressing climate change as a critical pillar of its strategy, and to accelerate the creation of the new technology needed to achieve its carbon reduction goals.

Prior to this Kane was Executive VP – Product Development, leading the Fisher & Paykel Appliances global Product Development teams based in New Zealand, China and Thailand, and he was instrumental establishing product and technology collaboration across the wider Haier Smart Home parent company.

Kane first joined Fisher & Paykel as a graduate Mechanical Engineer, and his 25 years’ experience also includes key technical and product management roles at other leading New Zealand technology and design companies, including Provenco Payment Technology and Avanti Bicycle Company.

Kane holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree (First Class Honours), a Postgraduate Diploma in Business, and is a patented inventor.

Away from the office, Kane has competed in Ironman Triathlon and adventure racing, but these days weekends are ideally spent mountain biking and hanging out with his wife and 2 teenage sons.

Janice Cheng

Group Manager – Business Operations, Hot Lime Labs

Photo of Janice Cheng

Photo of Janice Cheng

Hot Lime Labs is on a mission to decarbonise commercial greenhouses by transforming forestry waste into clean CO2, an important supplement to boost plant growth and crop productivity. As the GM of Business Operations, Janice is responsible for securing and managing the company's non-dilutive funding income, management of Hot Lime Lab's intellectual property portfolio, overall business operations, and the people, culture and capability function.

Prior to joining Hot Lime Labs, Janice led the biotechnology and health team at the Wellington UniVentures, the commercialisation office of Victoria University of Wellington.

She led a team of commercialisation professionals to partner with researchers at Victoria University of Wellington to develop innovations, and protect and commercialise intellectual property resulting from their research. In addition to leading successful commercialisation projects and securing over $3M of commercial revenue for research and advisory services, she also led relationships with key investors, institutional partners, and government agencies.

Janice completed her PhD in chemistry and immunology and was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence of Advanced Molecular Imaging. In 2020, she was a recipient of the NZ Prime Minister's Award for Latin America and spent a month in São Paulo and the Amazon studying sustainable development, immersing in the call and challenge of sustainability through the lens of Brazil.

She is passionate about solving today and tomorrow's climate and health problems by mobilising teams of people, and stewarding ideas, technology and talent. As an alumni of the OnBoard startup governance programme, she shares her strategic leadership and governance experience through her role at Hot Lime and in a not-for-profit setting. 

Published on April 15, 2024