On July 7th and 8th, 2016, the IPM Innovation Lab hosted a joint meeting of our project PIs and our Technical Advisory Committee. The meeting, which took place over two days at the Inn at Virginia Tech, was the first time that many of the PIs and member of the TAC had met. Attendees came from all over the United States, as well as from as far as the Philippines, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Taiwan.
The meeting included presentations by USAID Agreement Officer Representative John Bowman, Associate Dean of the Virginia Tech Graduate School Rosemary Blieszner, Associate Vice President of Virginia Tech’s Office of Outreach and International Affairs Karl Markgraf, and Brady Deaton, chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
In addition, each PI gave led a 30-minute discussion on their project, its mission, progress, challenges, and goals. These presentations offered opportunities for collaboration between the projects. There were also two breakout meetings; one for the TAC and one for the Program Coordinating Committee (PCC), made up of the project PIs. During these meetings, each committee elected a chair. The TAC elected Dr. Lawrence Datnoff, a plant pathologist from Louisiana State University, and the PCC elected Dr. George Norton, the PI for the Asia Vegetable and Mango project. Norton has been with the IPM IL since its inception in 1993.
One highlight of the meeting was the reception and dinner at Virginia Tech’s University Club on the night of July 7th, where meeting attendees mingled and networked with many esteemed members of the Virginia Tech community.
Overall, the two-day meeting was very successful. New partnerships and collaborations were made, and we are already working on planning another meeting in one of our project host countries next year.