Sue Muggleston

How I got here

I did a Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology at Auckland University and worked as a Summer Student (for the then DSIR) at Mt Albert for 2 years. I then started as an Entomology technician working on sex pheromones of NZ leafroller moths and then developed and managed a unit making and supplying pheromone traps for NZ growers. I completed business and management studies part time and when DSIR Plant Protection was formed I became Assistant to the Group Leader for Horticulture and was focused on technology transfer activities. When the CRIs were formed I became the Science Liaison Officer for HortResearch at Mt Albert and worked alongside the General Manager for Plant Improvement continuing with technology transfer activities, including leading a research programme investigating public perceptions of genetic modification and establishing a collaboration with other organisations to provide balanced information on genetic modification to the public. Following a restructure to a sector focus I then worked alongside the Kiwifruit and Subtropical Crops General Manager and had the opportunity to cover for someone on parental leave and take on the role of Portfolio Manager for Citrus and Subtropicals.

In 2000 I was seconded (again to cover parental leave) to the Ministry for Research, Science and Technology as an Advisor on public attitudes to genetic modification and Secretariat to the Government’s Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council. At this time HortResearch was setting up a new Genomics Platform; I expressed interest in being a part of this and was asked to set up a system to start managing the patents that were expected to flow from it. Within a short period of time I was asked to manage patents across the whole company. In 2006 I had the opportunity to become Business Manager for the Genomics group while still overseeing the Intellectual Property portfolio and developing an IP Coordinator to work with me. I have continued with both these roles through the merger to Plant & Food Research, now as IP Manager and with the ratio between IP management and business development changing as required.

Why I like working at Plant & Food Research

I like working at Plant & Food Research because fruits, vegetables, grains and seafood are fundamental to our diets and health, and it is great to be able to see what we work on making a difference in people’s lives both on a daily basis and contributing to the success of a major NZ industry.

My personal highlight working at Plant & Food Research

I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with overseas companies, tell them about our wide range of capabilities, and have them want to work with us because we are world class and offer integrated services that no other organisation can.

My work has an impact on our industries by

The intellectual property team works across our organisation to assist people in ensuring that there are no impediments to achieving their desired outcomes and that the intellectual assets they are creating are managed and protected appropriately so that they can deliver maximum impact for our industry partners.

What I love about my job is

We are involved in the new and exciting developments in lots of different projects and no day is ever the same.

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