Location & dates EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 26 - 27 Apr 2016
Deadlines Registration closed

Conference Programme

Day 1 - Tuesday 26 April 2016

Welcome Address by the Director General
Iain Mattaj, EMBL, Germany


Session 1: The Century of the Life Sciences – What does this mean for us all?

The large picture: Feeding 10 billion, global warming, aging. The societal relevance of life science research is growing along with our challenges. This session discusses the scope as well as existing and desired effects of life science research.

Invited speakers:
Tim Hunt, The Francis Crick Institute, UK
Leroy Hood, Institute of Systems Biology, USA

Session Chair:
Iain Mattaj, EMBL, Germany

13:00-14:00 Networking Lunch

Session 2: Coping with Complexity and keeping European biotech competitive

Understanding the mechanisms of life carries considerable promise but is more complex than research or development of man made systems. It requires significant technological advances that cannot be accomplished without investments in this field. While investing in the life sciences is not without risks it is much needed so Europe can maintain a competitive position in biotech and related businesses.

Invited Speaker:
Friedrich von Bohlen, dievini Hopp BioTech holding, Germany

Panel Discussion:
Frank Mühlenberger, EMBL Ventures, Germany
Eric Lohrer, Loreda Holding, Switzerland
Friedrich von Bohlen, dievini, Germany

Marc Zabeau, QBIC Venture Partners, Belgium

Session Chair:
Astrid von Soosten, EMBL, Germany

15:45-16:00 Coffee Break

Session 3: Providing transparency, trust, and credibility while maintaining the freedom of scientific exploration

Research in the life sciences is progressing rapidly providing unprecedented opportunities to manipulate living organisms. The general public views this with considerable degrees of fear and mistrust. It will be important to inform, involve, and meet the public while at the same time providing platforms and avenues that enable a better understanding.

Invited Speakers:
Wilhelm Krull, Volkswagen Foundation, Germany
Alexandre Mauron, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Cornelius Schaub, PHINEO gAG, Germany

Session Chair:
Matthias Hentze, EMBL, Germany


Keynote Speaker and Dinner
Sir Mark Walport, Government Office for Science, UK

Day 2 - Wednesday 27 April 2016

Session 4: Taking the long view – Funding the life sciences

Realizing the potential of the life sciences takes long time windows. The path from scientific discovery via translational research into application takes more time than conventional investors are prepared to wait until they see a return on their investment.

Invited Speakers:
Birgitte Nauntofte, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Denmark
Göran Sandberg, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden

Statements by larger foundations:
Chonnettia Jones, Wellcome Trust, UK
Susanne Schultz-Hector, Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

Session Chair:
Wilhelm Krull, Volkswagen Foundation, Germany

10:45-11:15 Coffee Break

Session 5: Support on all scales – Individual contributions to life science progress

Besides massive contributions from large foundations support from private funders directed at individuals or smaller scale projects can make a considerable difference in advancing life science research. Which formats exist and have been successful?

Invited Speakers:
Reinhard Pöllath, Pöllath & Partners, Germany
Maciej Żylicz, Foundation for Polish Science , Poland

Session Chair:
Chonnettia Jones, Wellcome Trust


Networking Lunch


Session 6: The Way Forward – New forms and frameworks for private support

As progress in life science research is not a linear and predictable process defining realistic timeframes and conditions is a must. At the same time a new type of philanthropist is coming to the fore - the social entrepreneur - and new forms such as Mission Investing and Impact Investments are emerging. How can we align these new forms and maximize their impact for greater good?

Invited Speakers/Panel Members:
Charles-Antoine Janssen, Kois Invest, Belgium
Gerry Salole, European Foundation Centre, Belgium
Felicitas von Peter, Active Philanthropy, Germany

Session Chair:
Susan Georgijewitsch, EMBL,Germany


Closing Remarks