BioProcess International and the BPI Conference are a bit like twins in that they were born together, but one arrived just ahead of the other. The magazine evolved from a close relationship between its founders and the staff of “IBC Life Sciences” just after the turn of the century. And as we got the publication going back in 2002–2003, we realized that four separate IBC meetings could come together as one under its banner and now-familiar logo. We’ve been colleagues all along — but looking ahead to 2018, you’ll see a much closer partnership emerge.
Over the past dozen years or so, in developments that would be familiar to anyone in biotechnology, various iterations of company name and corporate structure (along with staff members) have come and gone. And we all faced the task of maintaining our collaborative legacy amid those internal changes. Whereas three of BPI’s four founders remain today (as do the name and basic mission of the publication), IBC has become “Knect365 Life Sciences” with a relatively new team. We all remain part of Informa as we have been all along.
The BPI Conference now forms the programming core of a larger fall festival known as “Biotech Week Boston” (BWB). Six tracks focus on cell culture and upstream processing; recovery and purification; manufacturing strategy; analytical and quality issues; drug products, fill–finish, and formulations; and viral safety. The same week (24–28 September 2017) at the Hynes Convention Center also includes a program covering bioprocessing and commercialization of cell and gene therapies.
In addition to scientific and technical sessions, special festival events include a large biomanufacturing exhibition (>300 participating companies, with the BPI Theater featuring our State of the Industry session), the first Xconomy awards (from Informa’s business entity of the same name); a start-up pitch competition sponsored by EBD Group (Informa’s conference group devoted to high-level executive programming); a women’s leadership dinner; and a “Battle of the Biotech Bands” featuring musicians from Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi Genzyme, GE Healthcare, and more.
Are some of those names new to you? We’re excited to come together with new colleagues at Xconomy and EBD Group as well as our old friends at Knect365. We’re also excited to bring our audiences together here, online, and in venues such as BWB. Of course, many of you know each other already because you all work in different parts of the same industry. But over the years we’ve learned that silos don’t work very well anymore, and we all need to be more aware of one another’s functions and concerns. What better place to get together and learn about those issues than at Boston’s biggest biopharmaceutical party?
And that brings us back to BPI’s future as a publication. Starting in 2018, you’re going to see quite a few new themes and special projects. We remain among the last bastions of print publishing — mainly because time and again, when we ask about it, readers tell us they still want it — but we’re also moving with the times. So you will see more eBooks, featured reports, and interactive/multimedia content from BPI as well. And we’ve always had one foot in the event world. In 2018, we’ll be offering you new ways to connect with presenters from Well-Characterized Biologics, TIDES, BPI West, and other Knect365 conferences. So stay tuned, and all will be revealed!