First hybrid Innovation and SME Forum hosted at [BC]2 Conference

The first ever hybrid ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum was hosted by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics at their [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference. This event explored the technological advancements in the field of personalised medicine, with a focus on the learning ecosystem of health. 

A diagram of the learning ecosystem of health showing how the patient journey (diagnosis, treatment, feedback, followup) is a small component of the overall learning journey ( prevention, diagnosis, treatment, followup, training, integration, analysis, translation, guidelines)

Presentations were made from speakers virtually and also by those attending the conference physically. Thanks to excellent technical support, and enthusiastic chairing by the affable Daniel Stekhoven (Group Leader at ETH Zurich, NEXUS Personalised Health Technologies) the event ran seamlessly, accommodating both virtual and physical audience members and speakers.

The event kicked off with a welcome from ELIXIR’s Senior Industry Officer Katharina Lauer and a Keynote from Serena Scollen (Head of Human Genomics and Translational Data, ELIXIR) who detailed how federated data sharing is the key to meeting the data demands of research in preventive medicine, and how the Beyond 1 Million Genomes (B1MG) project aims to develop the infrastructure necessary for this. 

Photo of the panel discussion at the event

At the core of the event were short-talks by start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who develop products and services to connect the different components of the learning ecosystem of health, from treatment to tracking to translation. A special thanks to all the companies that took part: BITAC (Spain), Gene Predictis (Switzerland), HealthECCO (Germany), HeartGenetics (Portugal), IQVIA (UK), Nebion AG (Switzerland) and Novartis (Switzerland). 

Bogi Elisen (Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies) brought the talks to a close with his presentation on the future of data sharing and privacy in the context of research on healthy individuals for preventive medicine. His message was optimistic, but concluded that a paradigm shift is necessary to cope with a transition from analogue data to digital data research and acquisition, and that our perceptions of privacy in this new way of working will need re-adjustment. 

The event came to a close with a lively panel discussion which covered a multitude of topics including patient permissions and the motivations and rewards for sharing personal data.

To find out more about this event and speakers you can view the event programme in full. Please visit our Industry and Innovation webpage and sign up to our Industry newsletter to find out more about future ELIXIR events and activities or contact Industry Officer Katharina Lauer (katharina.lauer [at]">katharina.lauer [at] if you have any specific questions. 

Thu 16 September 2021