The 3rd Annual Research & Innovation Meeting recently held in Nottingham UK was a glowing success! With more than 325 delegates registered – the largest number of delegates to date – the Trent Vineyard was buzzing with activity.

Scientific Programme
Delegates enjoyed a meeting programme packed full of presentations highlighting ground breaking research and newly published or cutting-edge unpublished data. Kicking off the day was an inspiring Plenary Keynote presentation by Mark Bamford, Director Discovery Partnership Leader at GSK on the topic of Open Innovation. Open innovation was a major theme of the conference along with new approaches to phenotypic screening and novel methods for toxicity studies.

Poster Presentations
The world-class lineup of speakers from both academia and pharma was complemented by 34 poster presentations. The conference directors selected several posters of extremely high quality for short presentations during the main scientific sessions. Vinoj George of the University of Nottingham, also a session chair for the Phenotypic Screening track, won the award for best poster with his poster entitled, “High Efficiency Differentiation & Maturation of Human Stem Cell (hPSC) – Dervied Cardiomyocytes”.

Exhibitors and Snapshot Sessions
29 companies exhibited at the event, with 7 up-and-coming companies participating in our Innovation Zone. Many companies selected this venue to showcase their newest technology platforms and product offerings, and as a reward, 10 companies were selected by the scientific committee to give 5 min “Snapshot Presentations” during each of the scientific sessions to discuss their enabling technologies, products or services. Delegates voted for their favorite new technology and awarded the prize to Lablogic for their Hidex instrument.

Meeting Highlights
Conference directors Mark Wigglesworth (AstraZeneca) and Mike Jowett (Horizon Discovery) were thrilled that the conference achieved one of the main objectives of the ELRIG organisation –that is to make excellent scientific content freely accessible to an ever increasing number of delegates from a diverse range of scientific disciplines and backgrounds.

Delegates commented that R&I 2015 was different from other types of open innovation events in the sense that it was not a typical meeting where large pharma “preaches to the already converted”. Rather, R&I 2015 provided real examples across multiple labs and scientific disciplines that open innovation can work. For the first time ever, delegates enjoyed a presentation about venture capital funding that was directly targeted to the ELRIG audience. In the Phenotypic Screening and Safety & Toxicity tracks, presentations also highlighted how vendors are modifying their detection systems to accommodate the development of more complex, predictive cellular models by researchers. By working together, researchers and vendors can create better assays and solutions to identify compound toxicity issues earlier in the drug discovery process which could ultimately lead to lower attrition rates.

 Research & Innovation 2015 – Accelerating Early Discovery

A warm thank you to all our speakers who volunteered their time as well as the tireless efforts of the scientific committee in putting together an amazing scientific program:
– Vinoj George, University of Nottingham
– Gary Allenby, Aurelia Bioscience
– Malcolm Haddrick, AstraZenecca
– Richard Walmsley, University of Manchester
– Ian Waddell, CRUK Manchester Institute
– Timothy Perera, Janssen

Watch for more information on Research & Innovation 2016 at Drug Discovery’15 in September.