Welcome Message by the ESB 2021 Chairs
Dear friends and colleagues,
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we would like to cordially welcome you to the 31st Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB 2021), taking place virtually from September 5 to 9, 2021. This is the second time this event is organized in Portugal (in 1995, it has been already organized in Porto being chaired by Mário Barbosa). This year it also accommodates the 43rd Annual Congress of the Iberian Society for Biomechanics and Biomaterials (SIBB).
The motto of our Conference is “Futuring Biomaterials”, as a challenge to our community to explore biomaterials in conjunction with advanced technologies, such as Nanotechnology, Biofabrication, Microfluidics and Bioimaging to develop the clinical combination products and functionalities of the future. These conferences, whose first event took place in Strasbourg (France) in 1977, are held annually and are interspersed every 4 years by the World Biomaterials Congress. The ESB Conferences aim to bring together researchers, clinicians and companies for the presentation and discussion of the most recent advances in the areas of Science and Engineering of Biomaterials, both in terms of more fundamental research, as well as clinical and industrial research. It is intended that this multidisciplinary environment can promote scientific and technological knowledge for innovation in health.
As you know, at the beginning of this adventure we have planned to host the ESB 2021 Conference in Porto, as a live and lively event. However, the COVID19 pandemic drastically altered our plans. Despite our massive effort to organize the event live, after numerous discussions and with the support of the ESB Council, we have taken the difficult decision to move ESB 2021 to a fully virtual format. From then on, all our energies were put into making ESB 2021 a VIRTUOUS VIRTUAL successful event!
Despite the current pandemic the support of our community has been massive. We have received 795 abstracts and 39 proposals for symposia. This allowed us to prepare an exciting program that really leaves to our motto!
In quantitative terms, we have 975 registered participants, from 48 countries, including 15 from outside Europe, proving the truly international character of the event. The program includes 10 plenary presentations, including 3 given by invited renowned speakers and 7 by scientists awarded by the ESB in 2020 and in 2021. In addition, it also includes 98 invited lectures and 795 presentations, of which 348 oral and 447 posters (as of August 24, 2021). We really boosted the number of oral presentations to assure that as many teams as possible could see their works discussed in a podium presentation. Best oral and poster presentations made by young researchers, will also be awarded. To promote networking, we will provide access to a very interactive tool – Gathertown. Please, do actively participate in the poster sessions and be prepared to see old friends and meet new ones! As in every Conference, the Translation Symposia will address timely topics. We have a session dedicated to the recent alterations observed in the regulatory framework of medical devices and another that involves Business Angels. Finally, we actively involved the YSF in all aspects of the event and this year you will see the introduction of YSF chairs in all our oral sessions. You will also be able to meet our sponsors during the event.
We really need to leave here a word of thanks to all those that worked hard to make this Conference a reality: speakers, reviewers, special session organizers, sponsors, the local organizing committee, and all the volunteers.
Despite the fact that we will not be able to welcome you live in Porto, we organized a virtual Social Program that will give you a flavor of our city. We have a wine expert explaining what makes our Portuguese wines so special, and we have also a musical show recorded specially for our event. We have also planned yoga sessions during the lunch breaks. So, enjoy!
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we thank you very much for your participation and wish you a pleasant virtual “stay” in Porto!
Ana Paula Pêgo (Chair), M. Cristina L. Martins (Co-Chair) and Pedro L. Granja (Co-Chair)
Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) and INEB – Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, University of Porto, Portugal