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The ‘Advanced Therapies 2024’ conference was held in London on March 19 and 20 with the goal of fostering the research and development of advanced therapies, as well as learning about the latest technologies and strategies to promote this industry. Biocat attended the largest cell and gene therapy conference in Europe with the goal of bringing visibility to this sector and detecting new opportunities to ensure that it continues its pace of growth in Catalonia. 

Montse Daban, director of Strategic Foresight and International Relations at Biocat, participated in the panel discussion entitled “Addressing the educational and training needs for the future ATMP workforce” where the participants debated one of the main challenges facing the development of advanced therapies: the training and retention of specialized talent. Moderated by David Morrow, the director of science programs at EATRIS, the participants in the panel included Pamela Tranter, head of the Translational Research Group, Translational Research Office at UCL; Anji Miller, head of Skills, Gene Therapies Innovation Hubs, and Director of Translational Skills at LifeArc; and Ivan Wall, co-founder of FourPlus Immersive.

taula rodona atmp londresPanelists of the round table “Addressing the educational and training needs for the future ATMP workforce”

The speakers outlined their ideas on how to deal with the lack of suitable scientific training in advanced therapies, as well as how to create and retain talent in this field. “The first thing we have to do is clearly identify where the talent gaps are. Based on that, we have to identify all the actors who could help train experienced professionals,” said Montse Daban. Anji Miller shared this viewpoint and advocated creating large working groups “so that we are all working under the same conditions” while Pamela Tranter upheld sharing talent among regions, “so that all European countries can benefit from it.” 

Even though the main disadvantages are the high cost of such specialized training, Ivan Wall expressed his pleasure at how different European governments have already identified this talent gap and are beginning to get involved. “This issue is now on the table, and seeing it being taken seriously is good news,” he added. 

Biocat also took advantage of the event to spread the word about its Advanced and Emerging Therapies Hub of Catalonia at the “Catalonia Trade and Investment” stand led by ACCIÓ London. Miquel Salas, senior project manager at Biocat, explained the goals of this countrywide project with which Catalonia aims to internationally situate itself as one of the leaders in this field. He also shared the most important indicators compiled in the 2023 BioRegion of Catalonia Report published early in the year, as well as other Biocat programs and projects. 

Catalan participants made a strong showing at the “Advanced Therapies 2024” conference, its 19th edition, which managed to attract more than 2,500 international executives, 250 speakers, and 100 startups in advanced therapies from all over Europe.

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