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Professor Cal MacLennan and Professor Adam Cunningham
BactiVac Network Co-Directors, Professor Cal MacLennan and Professor Adam Cunningham.

The BactiVac Network is marking its first year of connecting scientists, clinicians, industry and policy makers across the world.    

The BactiVac Network was formed in August 2017 to help accelerate vaccine development against bacterial infections, particularly those of most relevance to low and middle-income countries (LMICs). To achieve this, we have helped make connections between our members from the academic, clinical, industry and policy sectors and provided funding to nurture these nascent links.

Over the last 12 months, the BactiVac Network has grown from zero to over 440 members. Our membership comes from around the globe, with 53 countries and five continents represented. More than a third of our members are based in LMICs and 12% are based in industry. These numbers reveal what the real strength is of our network: a critical mass of skills and expertise in bacterial vaccinology.

We are really grateful for the level of engagement from our membership, and it is the interactions between our members that is the real success over this past year. BactiVac Network activities, such as our catalyst funding schemes and our Inaugural Network Meeting, have helped facilitate collaboration, exploit new ideas, supported researchers to promote their work and identify new opportunities to develop. 

We are incredibly grateful to the community in helping the BactiVac Network grow. However, we must mention our Network Oversight Management Board (NMOB)Network Advisory Board (NAB) and Network Operations Management Group (NOMG) at the University of Birmingham for their support that has enabled all of the BactiVac Network’s activities over this time. Their generosity in offering their advice and time really has underpinned the establishment of the network and the execution of its activities.

As important as it is to look back at our rapid growth, more important is to look forward. It is with great excitement that we look forward to hosting our 2nd Annual Network Meeting on 20 and 21 March 2019.

Before then, we will also have completed a second round of catalyst funding, which will open this month, to support new opportunities for collaborations between our members.

We wish to continue to grow our membership and look forward to engaging even further with the research community, particularly in those areas where we have less representation. In the coming years, we look forward to seeing how the activity we have funded and the collaborations the BactiVac Network has helped facilitate grow to help deliver new vaccines and solutions against the deadly scourge of bacterial infections.

This is only possible with the continued engagement of the bacterial vaccine community and we hope that our members will continue to help make the BactiVac Network a success and be a positive advocate for the growth of bacterial vaccinology.