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Join the leaders of tomorrow at GapSummit 2018

Attendees at a previous Gap Summit

Young researchers and entrepreneurs with a passion for biotechnology are invited to apply for a place at a global, international gathering at St John’s, which aims to kick-start new collaborations and accelerate innovations in the sector.

From 16 to 18 April 2018, St John’s will be hosting the GapSummit 2018. This is a unique opportunity for 100 carefully selected “leaders of tomorrow” from all over the world to meet one another, as well as current researchers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs in the field. The applications are open until 30 November, and anyone interested in attending can apply now via the website, www.gapsummit.com. 

Over three days, the summit will address the major gaps facing the fast developing bioeconomy. The interdisciplinary nature of the conference means that it will not just examine issues regarding science, but also regarding areas including business and investment, policy, communication and commercialisation.

The final aim is to stimulate new ideas and projects geared towards addressing these challenges – or gaps – in the current thinking, while at the same time enabling and encouraging the development of an international network of bright, engaged young people capable of leading the response to those challenges in the years to come.

Patrick Flagmeier, a PhD student at St John’s College and alumnus of the event, said: “The GapSummit is the only event of its kind in biotechnology and a fantastic opportunity for the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs to develop solutions to real problems together with current leaders in the field.”

The event – which is taking place for the fourth time – takes a complete view of the challenges facing the global bioeconomy. These include how to source and allocate funding for essential but expensive research, and how to unify the priorities of biotech and connected fields such as healthcare. In the process, the very best young people working in these areas around the world will have the opportunity to start up new initiatives of their own, and begin working together, laying the foundations for a global leadership forum tackling those issues.

The development of initiatives is encouraged by the “Voices of Tomorrow” business plan competition, which takes place as part of the wider summit. This supports breakthrough solutions to future challenges of the bioeconomy. Participants work together in teams under an experienced mentor to submit an initial project proposal about their solution to an agreed problem. The most promising ideas will then be presented to a panel of judges at the summit, and the winners obtain prizes including seed funding and support from experts in the biotech industry.

Speakers at this year’s event include: Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organisation; Paul Stoffels, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of J&J; Randal J Kirk, CEO of Intrexon, and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD of Biocon Limited. As well as talks and workshops, there will also be panel sessions on the seven “gap” themes – innovation, the future of healthcare and personalised medicine, sustainability, policy-making in pharma and biotech, accessing global markets and the road from academia to industry.

The GapSummit is open to applications from enthusiastic students, post-docs, entrepreneurs and early-stage researchers and professionals who are passionate about discussing the global bioeconomy and the challenges that it will need to address before 2050. A total of 100 places are available to attend the summit, with applications closing on 30 November 2017. Attendees also have the opportunity to join the GapSummit’s alumni network, comprising enthusiastic individuals working in biotech around the world.

For full terms and conditions, and more information about the event, please visit the GapSummit website at www.gapsummit.com