Following the success of the first edition in 2018, BioWin (the health cluster of Wallonia), flanders.bio (the organization representing Belgian life sciences companies), and Flanders Vaccine (the organisation which focuses on public-private partnerships for vaccines and immunotherapy research and business), organised the scientific event "GSK meets Belgian Universities" for the second time. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate the exchange of ideas and deepen the dialogue on common vaccine research challenges.
These three associations play an important role in supporting biotechnology in Belgium’s regions and strive to promote the collaboration between the public and private sectors. The event on Thursday 4th April allowed nearly 70 researchers from the academic world to meet more than 60 researchers from GSK.
Sylvie Ponchaut, Managing Director of Biowin: "As a leading player in the field of health biotechnology and medical technologies in Wallonia, we are delighted, through this initiative, to create a place for scientists from our universities and GSK to meet and exchange ideas, with the aim of encouraging collaboration."
Katrien Lorré, Program Manager at flanders.bio: "This initiative helps stimulate research and innovation in our country, and solidifies the reputation of our ecosystem internationally."
Fran Van Heuverswyn, Project Manager, Flanders Vaccine: "Through this event, we encourage the development of vaccines by facilitating the exchange of innovative and complementary expertise and technologies between our universities and GSK, whose global vaccine division’s headquarters is located in Belgium."
GSK is one of the world's leading vaccine manufacturers, with a portfolio of more than 30 vaccines for infants, adolescents and adults as well as 16 other vaccines under development. More than 2 million vaccines are produced by GSK every day and are sent to populations in 158 countries. 70% of these vaccines are distributed to developing countries. In Belgium, GSK's more than 9,000 employees make it the largest pharmaceutical company. Historically, GSK is very close to the academic world. For example, GSK established 13 scientific collaborations with Belgian academies in 2018.