Plant & Food Research commercialisation champion announced a KiwiNet Award finalist

28 August 2020

A tireless champion for IP management who is passionate about developing others is a finalist in the 2020 KiwiNet Awards, which celebrate impact from science through successful research commercialisation within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes.

Sue Muggleston is a finalist for the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Commercialisation award for her work managing technology intellectual property at Plant & Food Research since 2000, including ensuring commercialisation opportunities are realised, delivering partnerships that generate commercialised products and training others. This award recognises a commercialisation professional working within a New Zealand research organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to the commercialisation of publicly-funded research.

During her time at Plant & Food Research Sue has supported the establishment of two NZ-based start-up companies through licensing of Plant & Food Research technologies: CropLogic (a digital agri-tech company specialising in grower decision-making tools) and Wine Grenade (use gas release technology in winemaking). She has also created relationships with multinational companies, leading to significant research projects. 

Sue has ignited cultural change, ensuring IP plans are required from the initiation of research projects. She has also instigated a wide range of training initiatives to keep IP protection top-of-mind with science and business staff. Her establishment of policies, systems and processes has ensured the progression of our technology pipeline, and identified emerging innovators driving early stage technology and commercial opportunities. 

Sue developed and facilitates our Core Business Skills programme. The course allows staff to broaden their experience across a wide range of business-related skills and supports science staff in understanding the business of science commercialisation. More than 50 staff have graduated from the programme with most advancing their careers in (or into) business and leadership positions in science. 

Sue’s training and professional development activities extend to hundreds of people in commercialisation roles around New Zealand and Australia. She is involved with the Licensing Executives Society (LESANZ) where she has been on the Board of Trustees for 7 years, heading the Education Committee who develop training courses on Intellectual Asset management and licensing. She has recently been elected Vice President. Since their launch, Sue has supervised and/or employed interns from The University of Auckland’s Master of Bioscience Enterprise programme and been a Project Sponsor of The University of Auckland’s Masters of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship.

All KiwiNet finalists will present their projects to a judging panel and audience on 15 October 2020. The winners will be announced later the same day.

For more information on the KiwiNet Awards and other finalists, visit

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365