SLAS Europe 2022 in Dublin
2022 is the year of new beginnings for many conferences. After the break imposed by the pandemic, the people are ready to leave the monitors and headsets behind and have face-to-face conversations about the present and the future of the biotech industry.
One of the best places for those conversations this May was the SLAS Europe in Dublin: despite of being a hybrid event, a great number of participants came to the venue and enjoyed the famous Irish hospitality and the surprisingly beautiful weather on this 3-day conference. I also had a more personal reason to look forward to the event: having spent a summer at NUI Galway as an undergraduate research fellow during university, I was really excited to go back to the green island after so many years.
SLAS made sure to cover a large number of topics this year. Maybe the only complaint I can think of is that sometimes talks in similar background were scheduled in same time slot, but in the time of presentations being available on demand after the conference this is not such a big problem.
An important topic this year was sustainability. In our own biolab we regularly assess how to further decrease our ecological footprint, and it is motivating to see other companies focusing on it too. Future of work after the pandemic was another interesting and discussion-provoking theme. Almost every lab has their own horror-story about how quarantine and social distancing affected them, and while we personally didn’t have to go through that at ARRALYZE, remote monitoring for example has become a lot more important for us too than ever before.
The keynote talks this year were truly impressive. On Tuesday Steve Rees from AstraZeneca stressed the importance of collaboration and communication between scientists, equipment developers and pharma companies. He also had a rather positive view on how the scientific community reacted to the pandemic, and how we all can learn from the events of the last two years. The next day Jeremy Simpson emphasized the relevance of automating cell-based assays, and how this will aid the development of new therapeutic agents.
Both of these talks strengthened my belief that we are on the right track with our product development efforts at ARRALYZE: keeping an open ear to the needs of the scientific community is the only way that allows us to stay relevant. Time pressure has a whole new meaning when it is about finding a cure to control a pandemic, and the expectations about what high through put really means are only growing. With this in mind I am really looking forward to meaningfully contributing to the future of high content live cell assays with our products at ARRALYZE.