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Collaboration can begin with a conversation.
We may be living in a time of global economic challenges, but it's also a time in which the bio/pharmaceutical industry continues to propel itself forward, navigating its way through maturing and emerging markets, compliance needs, and outsourcing options, all while keeping its eye on long-term development and today's complex requirements. These actions are no small undertaking, but seeking to solve health problems across populations demands such an approach.
It is in serving this industry that INTERPHEX has established a history of leadership in bringing together minds, materials, and services every year, and it is because of this that we are also propelling ourselves forward in 2012.
For starters, we are introducing a re-engineered conference, taking place May 1–3 at New York City's Javits Center. This year's conference has grown to include tracks, special sessions, technical workshops, and keynote presentations, resulting in the event's largest program component ever. At its heart is a five-track set of sessions designed to reflect the cross-functional team approach that firms use to move a drug to market: Regulatory Quality Assurance/Quality Control; Product Development; Facility & Process Design; Manufacturing & Packaging; and Supply Chain. Each track is chaired by a member of the 2012 INTERPHEX Advisory Board and will feature senior-level presenters to share the latest achievements in each stage. The Board has been invaluable in raising the bar on conference criteria, enabling us to present a more rigorous curriculum and to bring in speakers from organizations such as FDA, NASA, and the US Department of Commerce, as well as from more international firms and leading companies.
Complementing the tracks will be technical workshops, led by representatives of companies that understand what works because they have successfully done it. Participants will include Pall Life Sciences, Glatt Air Technologies, Fette Compacting America, Bosch, OSO Pharmaceuticals, GE Healthcare, STERIS, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and EMD Millipore. These workshops will be followed by special sessions on the third day of the event—another first.
A higher emphasis on case studies will be prevalent in this year's educational sessions. Case studies can also be found in the technology floor tours, focusing on advanced aseptic, biologics, and oral solid-dosage form manufacturing. Expanded access is another key theme to INTERPHEX 2012. The conference's heightened level of education will have a greater reach: the Thursday sessions, keynote presentations, floor tours, and technical workshops will be open to all badge holders, welcoming both conference and exhibits-only attendees. Finally, we focus on a continued partnership with the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). This year marks ISPE's 15th year as the major INTERPHEX sponsor and, as part of that, representatives of the Category and Special Recognition award winners in the 8th annual Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) program will attend and discuss their successes in innovation, execution, integration, excellence, and collaboration in the only joint appearance they will make outside of ISPE's Annual Meeting in November.
On the exposition floor, hundreds of the industry's suppliers will be present, representing more than 650 suppliers and 1000 product lines to fill the zones of Facilities, Manufacturing & Packaging, Automation Systems & Controls, and Sourcing & Services. They'll bring their latest and best offerings and their brightest people, who will be there to meet with attendees who have sourcing needs.
Facing a challenging global economy and significant industry changes, we often lose sight of the basics. Particularly in this age of communications leveraged by networks, wireless devices, and a worldwide web, we have to remember that people have not lost the need to connect, face-to-face, to teach, to learn, to do business, and to know each other better. Personal collaboration is crucial to the industry INTERPHEX serves, and collaboration can begin with a conversation, with a meeting. Our goal this year has been to provide an even greater marketplace and a knowledge center where even more professionals can come together to share even more innovation and problem-solving.
Bob Stewart is Industry Vice President of INTERPHEX, firstname.lastname@example.org.