PHARM Connect 2013 -
New collaborations born and challenges addressed at the key pharmaceutical business summit
PHARM Connect has become well known for its effectiveness in connecting professionals within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the strategically important region of Central and Eastern Europe. The market-leading event - organised for the third time - took place in Budapest on 27-28 February, when more than 400 senior decision-makers of the most important companies in the pharma and biotech sector from manufacturers to distributors, research institutions and universities gathered in the 5 star Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal to share and discuss their challenges and meet the key solution providers of the industry. Over 1,200 pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings were conducted between the prominent participants during the two days: a number that clearly shows the crucial role PHARM Connect as a platform plays in the industry growth of the region.
Delegates represented well over 20 countries and had the chance to get acquainted with the most up-to-date solutions to their recent challenges from automation through packaging, logistics, APIs all the way to software solutions and lab equipment. Service providers went beyond just showcasing their innovative solutions at PHARM Connect: during the course of pre-scheduled meetings each and every decision-maker had the chance to discuss specific needs with over 120 representatives from more than 30 vendors including Phoenix Pharma, GE Intelligent Platforms, DHL, Aptar Pharma, Festo, CEMELOG, Sartorius, Evonik Industries among many others. All meetings were mutually agreed on in advance on the event's cutting-edge online software, the Meeting Scheduler website, maximizing the effectiveness of the two days spent at the congress for all participants involved.
The conference programme has been extremely well received by the knowledgeable audience. Chairman of the second day, Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli, Chair of Production Management at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland talked about the next generation of Operational Excellence, while Dr. Zsolt Szombathelyi (Global Research Director of Gedeon Richter) held an intriguing presentation on how to keep the R&D pipeline innovative in a fully packed conference room. Amer Alghabban, Director of Global Quality Assurance (QA) Auditing at Merck joined in from London via a video conference to share his views about the current status, future implications and impact of new EU Pharmacovigilance legislations on QA. All other presentations including those of Martin Fitzgerald, Deputy Director General of the European Association of Pharmaceutical Full-line Wholesalers (GIRP), Miroslava Čikošová, Head of Manufacturing at Lonza Biotec or Dr. Csaba Szőke, the Global Advanced Sterile Technologies & Operational Excellence Director of TEVA as well as constructive panel discussions were praised by participating professionals, such as Matthew Russell, CMC Core Team Leader of Alltech in Serbia who enjoyed the “interesting mix of different disciplines, the split between legislation and actual operating processes” the most.
Besides informative presentations and pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings, informal activities made the networking focus of the event more colorful. The cocktail reception at the end of the first day was opened by Terry Siggins, Director of Software and Services European Channels at GE Intelligent Platforms, which provided a great chance to continue the countless open ended discussions in a truly relaxed environment. The GSK Biologicals plant excursion was just another icing on the cake for 50 delegates, who had the opportunity to get an exclusive insight into the operations of the vaccine plant in Gödöllő.
1,200 one-to-one meetings between over 400 senior decision-makers from more than 20 countries during two days, countless new collaborations and ideas born: these are the numbers behind PHARM Connect that tell the importance of Central and Eastern Europe’s key business platform for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. An effective two days will shape the future of many attending companies, as Beatrice Brice, Key Account Manager of Polfa Lublin in Poland put it “I believe that this event will have quite a big impact on our company's activity, because that's what we are here for: to find new partners to cooperate with. I've been to many different events, but I found PHARM Connect to be the best one.”