Hosting leading industry experts from across Europe, Connect in Pharma 2023 revealed future trends in pharma and AI, sustainability, and preventative medicine during a two-day meeting in Geneva on 14 & 15 June.
Busy with networking and collaboration, the event focused on the most important themes for the future of the pharma industry, from manufacturing to drug delivery and sustainability to socioeconomic challenges. A particular highlight was the event’s Gala reception, where visitors enjoyed an awe-inspiring talk by Nicolas Hamilton, British Touring Car Championship Driver, who was given a standing ovation.
With attendees from Google, McKinsey, Merck, GSK, Roche, and Johnson & Johnson, speakers highlighted the need to develop systems that account for future needs and create platforms that can be scaled through multiple networks simultaneously. Optimisation and manufacturing speed were key themes, as well as utilising data and AI to improve supply chains.
Elena Bayrak, Pipeline Strategy and Operations at Novartis appreciated the sector-wide approach to tackling pressing topics:
“I really enjoyed how Connect in Pharma is bringing the pharma industry together with new technologies within the packaging, drug delivery systems and such critical topics like diversity and sustainability.”
The ‘Women in Pharma’ panel tackled difficult topics such as inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, emphasising the need for diversity and equality, both for wellbeing and business success.
Global partnerships and data sharing
Over the two-day event, speakers from around the world discussed common issues. Collaboration on a global scale is required to make equitable changes that give the industry longevity. Questions from the audience focused on equity relating to low- and middle-income countries, asking the panel what is needed to facilitate the effective sharing of technologies and innovation. Sharing innovation was also raised in the context of IP, calling for open data and increased access to inventions and advances worldwide.
AI and biotechnology
From biotech to connected devices, visitors at Connect in Pharma learned how technologies can empower doctors and healthcare professionals to be more efficient while keeping patients at the heart of healthcare. Futuristic concepts such as harnessing AI in the body, the bio-revolution, the miniverse and the metaverse were raised as important ideas. Promoting healthy lifestyles and wellness that allow people to better manage their health was an important theme in reducing stress on healthcare services.
Berhard Müllinger, Chief Operating Officer at REYSCA, appreciated the range of opinions and opportunities for connection:
“There was a broad selection of speakers. The panels produced lovely discussions and were open to lots of new opinions. There were lots of opportunities to meet new people. Connect in Pharma is a perfect conference for finding suppliers in lots of different industries.”
Exhibitors representing a wide range of companies — including BD Medical, Gerresheimer, and Mettler-Toledo — highlighted innovative products and services designed to advance all areas of the pharma supply chain. With primary packaging solutions, medical device innovations, drug delivery system products, and numerous contract services, software platforms, and association groups on show, the exhibition area had a wide appeal to the pharma community.
Renan Joel, Divisional Managing Director for Packaging at Easyfairs, concluded: “We are thrilled with the success of this year’s event and the feedback we have received. With more than 70% of existing exhibitors pre-booking for next year, we’re excited about the trajectory of the event. This second edition of Connect in Pharma was an enormous success and represents the growing appetite for solutions in pharma, drug delivery and manufacturing, and we’re grateful for the support of the Directorate General for Economic Development, Research and Innovation (DG EDRI). We look forward to welcoming more of you to the event in June 2024.”