The European Association Summit Grows Strong

March 18, 2018

The European Association Summit Grows Strong

For the sixth year in a row, visit.brussels organised the European Association Summit (EAS) at the newly-rebranded SQUARE-BRUSSELS CONVENTION CENTRE on 8-9 March 2018. Over the years, the event has become indispensable in terms of exchanging information, sharing knowledge, and networking for international associations. This year’s trends and biggest questions facing the association community were addressed under the theme of “Engage, collaborate, and innovate.”

This year’s EAS was the biggest to date, with over 200 participants, who could choose from 20 themed workshops and three plenary sessions. Growing from strength to strength, the organisers formed new partnerships and, for the first time, welcomed ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) and PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association). Based on real case studies, the summit gathered association representatives – from Brussels and beyond –  around the table to discuss a whole range of topics, such as organising campaigns, advocacy, growth strategies, relations between members and management in fields such as sport, nanotechnology, medicine and culture.

As far as Boardroom was concerned, what really changed this year was the level of engagement from the audience. If plenaries were expected plenaries (the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, tackle, for instance, the topic of collaboration, which is essential for associations), the workshops were the opportuntiy for delegates to participate, and, most of them did in a very spontaneous and lively manner. Emilie Fillod, COO of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP), put it this way : ‘The overall content of the sessions was very good, and I particularly liked the way many of us participated in the conversations. Like they say, the knowledge is in the room, and I find, by talking to my association peers, many issues can be raised and even challenges can be solved.’

Popular sessions included a focus on GDPR organised by FAIB, the federation of associations based in Belgium, how to create momentum with online advocayc campaigns, led by three very dynamic young association executives, the power of the personal touch, where you understood that, in fine, relationships are key, and a special workshop on membership, where you could understand the differences between top-down and bottom-up initiatives.

This article was written by Rémi Dévé, Boardroom Chief Editor (editor@boardroom.global).

March 17, 2018

Creative and Dynamic Toulouse

Located in the Southwest of France, innovative, sportive and festive, Toulouse cultivates its creativity and dynamism. Toulouse’s heritage, Garonne River, climate and conviviality make the “pink city “ an attractive destination.

Toulouse is an exceptional destination for great international conferences. Its competitive advantage in the aeronautic and aerospace industry is known world-wide. Its efficient infrastructures and unforgettable identity, are transforming this European metropolis into an international premier destination.

Rich in 2,000 years of history, Toulouse revels in major historical sites (UNESCO classified, museums, architecture…). However, Toulouse is also an icon for progress and innovation.As the third French student city, Toulouse revels in high-level standard research laboratories, engineering schools and accredited industry leaders.

With more than 800,000 inhabitants, Toulouse is expending demographically, ranking first among the southern European cities, with a yearly increase of 10,000 inhabitants for the past 10 years.

Strong tradition and permanent innovation makes Toulouse a favorable destination in overcoming any challenges!

This article is powered by So*Toulouse. For more information on Toulouse as a convention destination, visit https://www.toulouse-visit.com/toulouse-convention-bureau 

 

March 11, 2018

Optimism vs Pessimism in Associations

To reach successful and rational business outcomes, especially in associations, it is very important to acquire rationality and flexibility in a context – let’s call it cognition – that is rigid and reactive, oriented toward learned rather than learning behaviour, and based on beliefs rather than evidence. In practice, we must be aware of some of the cognitive biases that affect us. In this article, I will examine the negativity bias vs. the optimist bias, and how it relates to associations.

Take a glass and fill it half way with water. Should it be considered as being half full (an optimist stance) or half empty (a pessimist one)? Psychological research on both optimism and pessimism can help us cope with these two peculiar inclinations. We must keep in mind that our evolutionary past forged us having both. Individually, we were obliged to defend ourselves against the predators lurking in a harsh environment, and this forced us to be suspicious. Collectively, we dared to take on risky projects that, for instance, allowed us to invade all corners of our planet. The coexistence of theses notions in us could be problematic, because in problem-solving and decision-making situations they play an important, if not fundamental, role. Sir Winston Churchill rightly said once: “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.

Happiness never makes a good story

Pessimism can stem from the negativity bias, a psychological phenomenon that always occurs: we tend to give more importance and weight to negative experiences and information. Across almost all domains of life, we seem to be, more often than not, overly pessimistic. We all notice first a dark face in a crowd, not a happy one. We have a very rich vocabulary for pain, but not for the description of physical pleasure. The wars have poured rivers of ink and created mileage of movies; happiness, it is said, has never made a good story. And the list goes on. There is a plausible evolutionary explanation for this: the harsh environment in our distant past forced us to react promptly to threats. Being sensitive and reactive was essential. To imagine and to anticipate catastrophic scenarios actually helped us, in some way, to prevent them. This pessimistic feature in us is deeply-rooted.

The other side of the coin, optimism, could be wired in our brains as well. Without this feature, after all, we would never have colonized the whole Earth. Schoolchildren and adults over 60 see, studies show, the glass half full: this does not happen in other phases of life. In general, however, as individuals we tend to consider ourselves a little superior to other mortals. In the US, 90 percent of males are convinced to drive their car optimally compared to others; financial advisors are sure to be in tune with the markets (which, data show, they are not); small entrepreneurs believe that they will succeed in the great majority of cases (unfortunately for them, this does not always happen: their commercial mortality is very high).

This optimism can be found in one particular talent humans have: mental time travel, or the possibility that our mind has to move back and forth through time and space. Something that was essential when there was a need to envision a different time and place, for, again, our survival. We all know that optimists live longer because they are healthier than pessimists. But we are also aware that excessive optimism can be counter-effective, as it can lead to illusion. Steve Jobs, for example, when he discovered he was suffering from cancer became vegan and looked for a treatment on the net, blatantly refusing surgery. Reality didn’t stand a chance against his excessive optimism.

The power of cognitive biases

The problem is awareness. We have a tendency to recognise the power of cognitive biases in others but to be blind to their influence on our own beliefs. In fact, we usually consider ourselves as relatively unbiased compared with others. For example, if we take an IQ test and we score badly, we think that that test is wrong and we search for another test. Horoscopes are another example. Our brain’s illusions must be identified, in order to give sense to them. Once we are aware of our optimistic illusions, we can act to protect ourselves.

In associations it is important to remember that collectively we lean towards pessimism, but individually we are more inclined to optimism. Despite the fact that the negativity bias exists and induces us to pessimism, we are indeed preternaturally optimists, at an individual level. Vital decisions, like those finance- or future-related, should be, in this contex,  taken collectively, and association boards should be diverse (in terms of gender, geographic areas, ages, etc.).

For example, women belonging to the so-called developing countries lack purchasing power, therefore tend to be pessimist. Data from US and European Gallup opinion polls show that differences in optimism and in perceived stock market risk between gender can explain why women hold an average less risky portfolio than men. Swedish data on more than 235,000 respondents show that women are less optimist than men regarding the future economy of their country. However, during economic crisis both genders lower their expectations for the present and future at the same level, depending on the quantity and quality of information available. There is also the belief that female pessimism about pay could sustain the gender pay gap. Fluctuations between optimism and pessimism are normal. Only teamwork and teambuilding activities can curb their potentially harmful consequences.

Franco Viviani is the former President of the International Council for Physical Activity and Fitness Research (ICPAFR) and a professor of anthropology at the University of Padua, Italy.

March 5, 2018

Washington, DC Offers an Ecosystem to International Associations

Washington, DC offers a value-added approach for meetings and conventions, especially for organisations within the technology, biotech/pharmaceutical, education and medical spaces.

International association planners looking for an ecosystem that can help support and enhance meetings find that Washington, DC delivers. By gaining unrivaled access to venture capitalists, government leaders, tech startups and cybersecurity experts, you can experience the DC difference.

The intellectual capital boasts 21 higher education institutions throughout the region and claims the most cybersecurity jobs—more than 27,000—in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, DC is the most educated city, making it a destination with a qualified workforce and a hot spot for innovation. These factors and more establish DC as a knowledge hub with access to robust assets unlike any other city.

International association business is one of the largest growing market segments for the city and Washington, DC continues to develop initiatives and invest in new development opportunities to ensure that it is one of the leading U.S. destinations for the international association market.

In 2018, Washington, DC will see new direct nonstop air service into Dulles International Airport from key international markets, including Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and London Stansted on Primera Air. In addition to its strong industries, $11.5 billion in development underway means 15 new hotels with over 3,400 rooms in the pipeline and special events venues continue to come online.

“We welcome more international association business and hope the new flights and hotel inventory help make it easy to choose Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. “Business travelers can access lawmakers relevant to their cause, meet in incredible venues and enjoy the city’s captivating free museums and Michelin-starred restaurant scene.”

Meeting planners find DC’s safety and attractiveness appealing, as well as ease of access and value. The nation’s capital has built a path towards greener living by creating an environment where every government building is now powered by renewable energy, making DC the first LEED Platinum city in the world by U.S. Green Building Council in August. The city continues to add properties that are LEED certified such as the new POD DC hotel in Chinatown. With the opportunity to access Fortune 500 tech companies and as the top city for women in tech (CBRE Tech Talent Scorecard, 2017), selecting DC for your next meeting will benefit attendee, exhibitor and sponsor bases alike.

This article is powered by Destination DC. To learn more about meetings and conventions in Washington, DC or submit an RFP, visit washington.org/meetings.  

 

 

February 26, 2018

In the Shoes of the Secretary General (Part I)

A member of Boardroom Advisory board, Mohamed Mezghani has been appointed Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in January. Boardroom has asked him to contribute a monthly column in which he explains all about the challenges of holding such a position. This is Mohamed’s very first insights.

 

Two months after taking office as Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport, I would say that I didn’t see the time passing. Whether it was to launch a new strategic vision for the association, to visit members, to meet sister associations or to spend time with colleagues, this kick-off period has been inspiring. Listening others’ views and expectations, and sharing mine has been a daily exercise. I am not new to UITP that I joined in 1999 and where I held various position, but people don’t talk to you with the same objectives and the same words; it varies according to your position and your capacity to act and follow-up on their expectations. For the majority of people, it is because they respect the position and give a special attention to deal with its top decision-maker. For some others, I must say a minority, you can easily notice they are opportunistic and are only looking to serve their personal interest, not to say their hidden agenda. All of a sudden, they notice your existence!

These multiple demands for meetings, delivering speeches at events or interviews need a careful organisation and a priority management. It is obviously very good for the ego. I call it the red carpet syndrome. This is precisely the trap in which you shouldn’t fall. That’s why I decided to involve the President as much as possible in representing UITP, and to share this task as well with my directors who, according to the topics, might be in a better position than me to speak on behalf of the Association. Not to mention the members who are very active and very involved: they have the practical experience and expertise that give their speech an indisputable credibility. This being said, it is important to personify the position and give it a face and a recognisable style. But this should be done naturally and with sincerity. It is something I learned from my theatrical experience: overacting is caricaturing, and this will make you lose credibility.

Wearing the shoes of Secretary General after four years as deputy implies a mix of continuity and disruption. Continuity in the values you always believed in, in your trust in your colleagues, in your passion for the mission of the Association and dedication for its members. Simultaneously, you are expected to show an indefectible sense of responsibility, a smart way of delegating this responsibility, a strategic vision and leadership skills much expected by colleagues and members. All the better, that’s suits me perfectly.

February 18, 2018

Diamonds Are a Scientist’s Best Friend

Dr Amanda Barnard is the first woman and the first Australian to win the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology (Theory), a pinnacle of achievement in the world of science. The prize is the latest in a string of prestigious titles Dr Barnard has accrued.

A World Wonder

Dr Barnard’s soft Australian accent hints at a life lived on many continents. When she was studying for her PhD (applied physics) in theoretical condensed matter physics at RMIT University in Melbourne, she was living in Toronto, Canada, and commuting back to Melbourne. She took just 17 months to complete her PhD.

She got the job, at the Argonne National Laboratory, a government lab in Chicago, USA. But after a couple of years, she left to work at the University of Oxford. “One of the great things about science is our ability to travel, because science is the same language all over the world. Maths is the universal language that we speak,” she says.

A Gem of a Discovery

It’s hard to imagine something as tiny as a nanoparticle. They are one billionth of a metre in size and make up a sort of invisible world. About 15 years ago, Dr Barnard started using supercomputers to study them. It was the most brilliant gem that captured her attention: diamonds. “I was thinking: let’s try to understand how the different shapes, sizes and structures of diamond nanoparticles can impact their stability and their properties,” she says.

Dr Barnard discovered that diamond nanoparticles have unique electrostatic properties that can repel or attract, similar to a magnet. She also found that their surfaces link up to form a porous aggregate, “like a very ordered sponge”. Her research is potentially life-changing for millions of people around the world.

For example, a study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is investigating whether diamond particles can more effectively deliver drugs such as chemotherapy, insulin and gene therapy. Dr Barnard’s research underpins this work and her findings could mean that the amount of drugs needed to deliver the same treatment will be about 10 times less.

“We can target the disease better,” explains Dr Barnard. “It’s a slow release because of the porosity of the diamond particles and being able to have something like a ‘chemotherapy patch’ to deliver the drug slowly, over an extended period, will have less side effects.”

It was Dr Barnard’s years-in-the-making diamond nanoparticle discovery that secured her the 2014 Feynman Prize. She is the first woman to win it in the 22-year history of the prize – a promising development and one that this scientist accepts with deep responsibility.

Bringing Knowledge Home

Dr Barnard advises young scientists to gain experience – in life and in work – by travelling early in their career. But, she says, it’s crucial to bring their learning home. After moving back to Melbourne in 2008, she took up a position with Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). She draws on her experience gained from years of working abroad to collaborate with fellow scientists around the world.

“The days of clustering together in one city or one institution – or even one country – are gone. We work globally,” she says. “Over the years of that diamond project, I worked with people in Russia, the UK, Italy, the United States, Japan and Germany. With electronic media these days, we can be in contact every day.”

First published on www.australiaunlimited.com.  The full version of this article can be read here on the Business Events Australia website. Author: Imogen Brennan

February 11, 2018

Montréal – Paving the Path for Progress

 

Fresh off its 375th birthday, Montréal has morphed into Canada’s cultural capital, offering a certain je ne sais quoi that’s not quite North American, but not entirely European, either. Home to 120 different ethnic communities and a growing population of over 1.6 million, Montréal has evolved into an international city that embraces its storied past, but is also ready to dive head-first into the future with a wealth of research and increasing number of congresses revolving around aerospace, life sciences and artificial intelligence.

Words Lane Nieset

A buzzing port since its youth, Montréal has received a myriad of settlers to its shores and kept its pioneering attitude alive with its signature joie de vivre spirit. Visitors today are welcomed with open arms to the multilingual city that’s one of the top for conventions on the globe—and a certified destination for sustainable events. Over the past 35 years, the Palais des congrès has held over 7,300 events; hosted over 19 000 000 participants; and generated more than 6 billion dollars in economic spinoffs. But for Montréal, the gain isn’t in the numbers alone, it’s in the legacy that’s been created thanks to the local champions who are proving to the world (and attracting congress bids in the process) that the city is a hotbed of growth when it comes to scientific research.

Despite being home to top-notch researchers in fields like genetics, aging, economics and life sciences, Montréal’s scientific community is building on its international reputation. Two ways the city aims to bolster growth: earning scientific awards and attracting large-scale international conventions. Attracting and holding large-scale international conventions makes it possible to generate significant intellectual benefits, while shining the spotlight on science and the scientific luminaries associated with the events,” said Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. 

Into the scientific spotlight

One of the key factors of the city’s success in attracting international congresses: the active Ambassadors’ Club. Founded in 1985, the club’s 330 distinguished members help turn the attention of global associations toward Montréal. The club’s president, Hany Moustapha, Professor and Director at AÉROÉTS and Senior Research Fellow at Pratt & Whitney Canada, has been a member for a dozen years and is a leader in the metropolis’ aerospace industry. With the help of members with this type of expertise like Dr. Pavel Hamet and Daniel Bouthillier, the club has successfully hosted world firsts like the International Congress on Personalized Health Care, where hundreds of delegates joined together for the first time to discuss breakthroughs in molecular biology and medical approaches that focus on individual genetic makeup. Just two years later, the congress is returning to Montréal in September, bringing over specialists, researchers, academics and clinicians to discuss the application of P4 Medicine (personalized, predictive, preventive and participatory health care).

The Ambassadors’ Club has also partnered up with the Palais des congrès and the Fonds de recherche du Québec to support the region’s researchers and scientists in terms of bringing and organising congresses in Montréal. In an attempt to tighten the ties between the Palais des congrès and the scientific community, the group set up the Prix Relève, a competition that awards grants recognizing researchers involved in the process of securing and organising major international scientific conventions. Two years ago, the Palais also partnered up with one of the leading occupational health and safety research centres in Canada, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), to further development in this field and continue to grow the life sciences sector, which already accounts for 30 percent of the Palais’ events.

The full version of this article can be read in the February edition of Boardroom available here.

February 4, 2018

Jerusalem – A Growing Knowledge Hub

 

The longest inhabited city on the globe, Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, is not only a holy place for three of the world’s major religions, it’s also an evolving association destination, Lane Nieset writes.

Two Millennia of Academic Heritage

Thanks to the presence of 17 academic institutions and cutting-edge research from the Hebrew University and Hadassah University Medical Center’s world-class labs, Jerusalem has emerged as a modern-day leading hub of academic knowledge. “In recent years, the university’s administration has made intense efforts to attract the best students, teachers and researchers, and to equip them with the best tools to succeed. In turn, our faculty and students have made world-class contributions in diverse fields, ranging from the arts and humanities to the basic and applied sciences,” explains Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

There’s a reason why Time Magazine named Jerusalem the world’s top emerging technological hub in 2015. Hebrew University ranks no. 1 in the 2018 QS World University Rankings report and sits among the top one percent of the world’s 26,000 higher education institutions. Not only does the university count the father of physics, Albert Einstein, as a founding father, it also boasts eight Nobel Laureates; nearly 10,000 patents for 2,600 inventions; and 4,000 research programmes that explore everything from Alzheimer’s medication to medical marijuana.

 

Jerusalem Fast Facts

-35 minutes (or 18 by train) from Israel’s international airport, Ben Gurion

-One of the world’s most secure airports, with direct flights between two and five hours from Europe and Russia

-International Convention Center with 27 halls, accommodating up to 10,000 people

-More than 17,500 hotel rooms spread across a variety of budgets

de the association through all phases of their events, they also ensure that this support continues year over year.

Jerusalem has also rightfully earned the title as “Start-Up Nation,” boasting the largest number of per-capita start-ups and venture capital investments in the world. One of the best examples of success sprouting from the city itself: in March 2017, Intel acquired Mobileye for $15 billion. The Israeli technology company, which develops vision technology for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving, got its start in the halls at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. With this type of home-grown success, Jerusalem is showing the world its power as an innovation hub.

Association Success in the City

Jerusalem is clearly standing out in the global arena in terms of academic research, biotechnology and medical innovation, and computer vision and image processing. In this context, it has started laying down a strong foundation for future conferences, with Israeli representatives of scientific international associations attracting international colleagues to the city for events like the 42nd Congress of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies, mHealth Israel, a global HealthTec conference, the 28th Annual Meeting of the International BFM-SG, or the International Symposium on the Cannabinoids which will be held in 2021.

Not only does Jerusalem offer association delegates the chance to meet in the world’s holiest city that’s as rich in culture as it is in business, it gives them the opportunity to be part of a growing knowledge hub and build a legacy both for their association as well as for the dynamic city.

For organisations who need financial assistance or are looking to boost delegate attendance, the Jerusalem Conventions & Visitors Bureau (JCVB) acts as a one-stop-shop and has helped the city host more international delegates than any other in Israel, assisting with everything from financial incentives of up to €50,000 to marketing and technological tools geared toward hotel and venue booking.

More info on Jerusalem as a conventipon destination on  www.jerusalemcvb.com.

January 27, 2018

Hackathons for Associations?

haTraditionally, hackathons – the word is a combination of ‘hack’ and ‘marathon’ – are events that focus on entrepreneurship and engineering, often fueled by caffeine and junk food, culminating in the creation of inspiring prototypes and new ideas. Essentially, a hackathon aims to challenge its participants so they turn their ideas into reality – it’s a great illustration of what a sprint of collaborative work can accomplish. Taking a note from the tech world, associations are realising the value in this dedicated type of group problem solving.

Words Rémi Dévé

Hackathons were born in the world of tech startups in the 1990s and traditionally brought together computer programmers to create new software and tech solutions, judged by a panel of subject-matter experts and industry leaders. Facebook features such as the “Like” button and “Timeline” display were developed during hackathons. Today, hackfests, as they are also sometimes called, have spread to almost every industry sector, and are being used by businesses, community activists, and nonprofits to create innovative products, prototypes or programs, as well as help spark new ideas, identify challenges and solve real-world problems. Associations are also seeing the value of those intense sessions and jumping on the bandwagon.

Powerful tool

Hackathons are all about community and collaboration. For associations, they
 have become a powerful tool
to promote engagement and collaboration with members or conference attendees, especially because the core mission of hackathons has endless possible applications. Hackathons can also help build bridges with the technology ecosystem. In today’s world it simply makes sense to be around start-ups, tech gurus, IOT engineers and developers. It doesn’t matter what your industry is, technology is changing it, and associations have realised this.

But why would you, as an association, organise a hackathon instead of a regular seminar for instance? As Ney Neto, Director of Business Development & Innovation, MCI Brazil, says, a hackathon can actually be very efficient in the context of association management. One of the biggest challenges for an association is to keep its members engaged. Communication has changed with the digital transformation. E-mail blasts and one monthly newsletter might not be enough to have your members engaged. So a good objective for hackathoners can be to come up with a prototype a communication tool that will promote engagement with your members.he argues.

On another hand, hackathons might represent a good opportunity for industry professionals to listen to tech savvy people, the millennials, or your next trainee if you will. As digital natives, they think differently when it comes to digital communication, and a hackathon is a wonderful environment to exchange with them. One of the professions of the future is called Social Engineers, the meeting designers who go about this technology ecosystem. They seat in co-working spaces, talk blockchains, meet-ups, hackathons, game jams, and they can facilitate the connections between developers, IT mentors, and the professional or trade associations. In this context, they will be the ones designing innovation journeys to solve problems collectively.says Ney.

 

Read the rest of this article in the February issue of Boardroom, out soon. In the mean time, check out our past issues.

January 19, 2018

A Trailblazer in Infectious Disease Research

Once believed to be almost eliminated as a public health risk, infectious diseases remain a leading cause of death worldwide. In Canada, there are many professors and scientists, research centres and institutions committed to improving the health of Canadians in particular and people in general through the support of research and dissemination of knowledge pertaining to the field.

Words Rémi Dévé

Ranging from childhood ear infections and measles to flesh eating diseases and sexually transmitted illnesses, infectious diseases affect us all. Over 18 million people died from the influenza pandemic of 1918 and more than 20 million people have already died from AIDS since its outbreak. The World Health Organization reports that at least 30 new diseases have been scientifically recognized around the world in the last 20 years. Diseases such as SARS, Ebola, and cryptosporidiosis are emerging without warning – and some without cures. At the same time, diseases considered to be part of our past such as tuberculosis, cholera, and diphtheria are making a comeback.

Collectively, infectious diseases account for 25% of all annual physician visits. The total cost of treatment and lost productivity associated with infectious diseases in Canada is estimated to exceed $12 billion each year. Antibiotics are the second most frequently prescribed class of drugs – second only to pain relievers.

The good news is that Canada-based institutions like the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO – InterVac), located at the University of Saskatchewan, in the city of Saskatoon, are leading the way in infectious disease research. Winnipeg is also home of the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) which houses the only Containment Level 4 operational laboratories in Canada working on some of the most serious pathogens including Ebola, Marburg and Lassa Fever.

Brad Peters Director of International Sales at Tourism Saskatoon, says: “The University of Saskatchewan has grown a worldwide reputation as a Canadian University with one of the broadest disciplines, particularly in the life sciences. All on one beautiful and central campus, with cutting-edge programs and research in areas such as medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture, kinesiology, nursing, biology and toxicology. In Saskatoon, you can exchange ideas with leading researchers in the fields connected to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

In this context, VIDO – InterVac, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach, focusses on human and animal health, primarily through vaccine and technology development. They have, for instance, commercialized eight animal vaccines including six world firsts. When the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus spread to North America in 2013, they managed to develop an improved vaccine before the virus infected Canada.

The University of Saskatchewan is also home to Canada’s only synchrotron which harnesses powerful imaging and analytical techniques to solve challenges in health, environment, materials science and other areas of global social and economic importance.

It is safe to argue that Canada has become a global force in infectious disease research. Over just a few years, the opening of new world-class facilities and the creation of prestigious organisations have added to the country’s already well-established reputation.

This article was sponsored by Business Events Canada. Bring your conference/meting to Canada and learn from its experts: Emma Cashmore, Managing Director, Axis Travel Marketing LTD, or call +44 (0) 208 686 2300. 

Picture: Canadian Light Source