We were delighted to welcome 108 of our members to the Inaugural Meeting of our Network on 26 and 27 February 2018 at the University of Birmingham, UK. The frosty weather did not affect the warmth of greeting within the meeting with attendees having travelled from far and wide (with representation from 14 different countries).
The primary aim of the BactiVac Network is to bring our members together in order to facilitate collaborative working to accelerate the development of bacterial vaccines. We saw this in action at our Inaugural Meeting, where members were busy networking with new colleagues, discussing new possibilities and brainstorming problems often faced in the vaccine development pathway.
The programme delivered a host of talks from internationally renowned speakers on the bacterial vaccine development pipeline. The talks ranged from the basic science underpinning vaccine development to their commercial production and delivery. We heard about the success stories as well as the challenges and also lessons learned that should help us to expedite the development of future vaccines.
It was good to see the recipients of our travel bursary awards having the opportunity to take part in the meeting and add the LMIC perspective which is invaluable to us all when working in partnership to address the global challenges in bacterial vaccinology.
The meeting was the platform for launching our first catalyst funding call for proposals to promote new collaborations and partnerships. BactiVac will be providing awards for pump-priming projects (up to £50-100k for 6-12 month durations) and training awards (up to £6k) to support our members to explore new approaches and strategies to advance vaccine development and to address key skills gaps. We look forward to receiving applications from our members to our first catalyst funding call; remember the deadline is 22 April 2018 so don’t delay!
Our next Annual Network Meeting will be held on 20 & 21 March 2019 in Birmingham, UK so please do note the dates in your diaries, and we look forward to seeing even more of our members then. Membership is free and you can apply via our online application form.