Stepping out from the shadow of the pandemic, new onsite + online format increases int'l participation and business engagement
TAIPEI, July 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BIO Asia-Taiwan 2020 International Conference and Exhibition, the world's first combined onsite plus online biotechnology conference, closed on July 26. Held in Taipei, from July 22 to 26, the event attracted over 5,000 viewers to its online conference, of which foreign participants accounted for 30 percent. Utilizing the BIO One-on-One Partnering™ platform, over 6,000 requests were made over the course of the event's five days. With this new format, members of Taiwan's burgeoning biotechnology industry were able to successfully step out from the shadow of the global pandemic and develop a new wave of business opportunities with the world's biomedical community.
"From the perspective of local and international participation, holding this year's event in onsite and online format was the right decision," said Johnsee Lee, chairman of the BIO Asia-Taiwan 2020 Organizing Committee. He said that although the pandemic meant that visitors from overseas could not join in in person, the online exhibitions, forums, company presentations, business matchmaking, and other online attractions allowed for smooth and easy interaction between local and international participants, encouraging the cooperation, networking and fundraising so essential for this industry.
This year, a total of 496 companies participated in the onsite exhibition, taking up 1,077 booths (3x3 meters). Special zones on the exhibition floor included the International Zone, the Multinational Pharma Zone, Precision Medicine Zone, Cell and Regenerative Medicine Zone, and a special area to showcase research and innovation from 50 teams within Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology. In addition, a zone was set up for companies working on products and solutions to combat the pandemic, and in particular to showcase Taiwan's front-line research and development capabilities in this essential field, particularly in diagnostics, reagents, vaccines, digital health, and new drugs.
Although it is currently all but impossible to visit Taiwan due to pandemic-related border controls, many countries were still able to set up national pavilions for their companies, including the United States, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Malaysia and others in the onsite exhibition. Israel, Italy, Austria, the Philippines, and Singapore also joined the above-mentioned countries with online pavilions, joining other companies to reach around 200 exhibitors at this year's inaugural online exhibition.
Opening on 22 July, the three-day conference attracted more than 5,000 online views in total, of which foreign participants accounted for 30 percent. The top three countries in terms of online visits were the United States, Japan and China. With the theme of 'Finding Cures in the Crisis', the conference covered five major themes over 14 sessions; Combating the Pandemic, Advanced Therapies, Precision Medicine, Digital Health, and Investment & Collaboration.
The sessions were jointly organized by the full spectrum of industry, government, academic, and research sectors, including from the Industrial Development Bureau, Development Center for Biotechnology, the Industrial Technology Research Institute, PwC Taiwan, Taiwania Capital, Taipei Medical University, Academia Sinica, the National Health Research Institutes, and others.
A highlight of the conference was Nobel Prize and Tang Prize winner Tasuku Honjo who graciously accepted an invitation to speak on his experience in developing immune checkpoint inhibitor PD-1, and for insight on the future of cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Honjo expressed encouragement over the advancement of new immunotherapies, and his hope that in ten years time immunotherapy would have developed to the point that even if we can't eliminate cancer we may be able to live with the condition as a chronic disease.
This year's Company Presentation program was expanded to include more than 55 companies, with the program conducted online for the first time. Included were local and overseas companies in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics fields. Also, on the program were five investment firms from Japan, ten companies from Israel, and seven from Italy. In the Entrepreneur Pitch sessions, also online, 45 innovative teams from the Biomedical Ecosystem development office in Taiwan (BEST) of the Ministry of Science and Technology; SPARK Asia; and the Biomedical Commercialization Center (BMCC), presented their innovations to a worldwide audience.
Overall, the energy of the conference and exhibition this year was lively and the mood upbeat. At the onsite exhibition, many companies and research teams took the opportunity to publish important results. And at the online exhibition, it was shown that this format had the potential to change the way that exhibitors conduct themselves; from passively waiting to visitors to a more proactive and interactive engagement process. For example, many online exhibitors promoted their booths in the public chat rooms, inviting participants to visit and encouraging information exchange in various ways.
For full BIO Asia-Taiwan 2020 Online + Live activity, session and presentation details, visit the event website at www.bioasiataiwan.com. BIO Asia-Taiwan will return on 2021.
SOURCE Taiwan Bio Industry Organization