Most people will tell you they hate networking. No matter how much we might dread awkward chit chat, networking and relationship building are key contributors to success, regardless of industry or job title. Because commercializing regenerative medicine (RM) technologies depends on collaboration across diverse sectors, relationship building is critical.
With this in mind, RMConnectTO was developed as a concept that we jokingly code named the “Big, Fun, Event.” Hosted by CCRM and held on September 28th, our primary goal was to create an opportunity for investors, members of industry, and top RM scientists to interact, and make connections that would advance commercialization. Add in a unique venue (the offices of Torys’ law firm in the heart of Toronto’s financial district), some art, a panel of RM professionals, and we had the ingredients to make an event to remember!
Following on the heels of CCRM’s official grand opening at the MaRS Discovery District, we were thrilled to host close to 80 guests from across the RM ecosystem for our invite-only event.
The evening kicked off with a panel discussion covering hot topics in cell and gene therapy. We were fortunate to have Peter Zandstra (CCRM CSO, UBC and U of T), Phil Vanek (GE Healthcare), Karen Townsend (Torys LLP), and Sven Kili (GlaxoSmithKline) participate as panelists. Sharing their thoughts with the audience on key scientific trends shaping the field, intellectual property issues, and challenges with pricing and reimbursement, the panel covered a wide range of topics. (Head over to Twitter to read tweets about the panel and the event.)
Following the panel, guests were free to network and view an interactive projection art display by local artist Radha Chaddah. This exhibit invites people to wander through an empty room brought to life with images of laboratory grown cells projected onto the walls, floor, and ceiling. My favourite part of the night was watching people explore the exhibit and experience science in a completely new way.
Through organizing this event I learned that people in the RM community are looking for ways to access partners so that they can advance technology, but this process can be daunting. It’s rewarding to know that in creating RMConnectTO we are providing a venue that will spark those key relationships.
We hope our guests added to their networks, and were inspired by new ideas. We also hope they tell their colleagues about CCRM’s “Big, Fun, Event” so that next year’s version will be an even bigger success.
Latest posts by Nicole Forgione (see all)
- RMConnectTO: Building networks to advance regenerative medicine - October 12, 2017
- Learning About Industry from the Insiders at Phacilitate Cell and Gene Therapy World 2017 - February 8, 2017
- Inaugural Medicine by Design Symposium – Engineering progress in regenerative medicine - December 21, 2016