What we’ve come to know as the annual BioProcess International Conference has become a lot more than that. BPI magazine and conference, previously separate but collaborative business units, now live within KNect365: Informa’s relatively new business unit bringing together common interests of several new and existing businesses in the company’s “knowledge and networking” portfolio. It includes products and events from other groups that have joined Informa over the past decade or so. Some of those acquisitions may be familiar to you: IIR Holdings, the EBD group, Xconomy, and Penton Information Services.
KNect’s managing director for Life Sciences and Pharma events is Anna Chrisman, who came to Informa from EBD. It all gives us greater access to thought leaders and information than ever before, and in some areas we’ve only touched on till now. These expanded resources have transformed our business in some surprising ways. And the annual conferences (both in the United States and Europe) knit those strands into cohesive programs with expanded online resources.
In the United States, Biotech Week Boston includes our core BPI conference sessions while adding tracks from other merged events and the colocated Cell and Gene Therapy conference. After returning from BWB a couple weeks ago, I’ve realized what a different “vibe” characterized this years’ event. Although these changes have been introduced incrementally, at this year’s event the pieces really seemed to have coalesced into an organic whole. The audience is undeniably younger — bringing the combined energies and innovative approaches of a new generation. Multimedia offerings kept conversations going as organizers brought keynotes and a theater of presentations into the exhibit hall. Lively interviews with speakers and exhibitors were captured on “BWB TV” and shown there too. You can see those on our www site now. The Battle of the Biotech Bands raised money for charity — more about this event in next month’s Spotlight. And the core scientific content brought standing-room-only attendance to many tracks, with quite a few speakers who were new to the event.
As a further reflection of our expanded relationships — common audiences and manufacturing priorities — is a renewed commitment from the BPI editors to develop more manuscripts from selected conference presentations. Everything spoken and written in this industry of course needs corporate and legal approvals, and the magazine and conference staffs approach such permissions with slightly different understandings (some things can be said but not printed). But we already have a number of papers in progress from the conference — three of which appear in this issue’s featured report.
Next month, I will describe other changes for our upcoming 16th year of publication. Some themes will change, and we’ll offer many more eBooks and other original content on the digital side of things (benefiting from our closer connection with events groups). Transitions may not always be smooth or easy to sort through. But we’ve been working on this for a while now, and I anticipate bringing more and more information resources and targeted analyses to these pages to help you connect with the resources you need worldwide.