Message from EBSA Council

Dear EBSA member,

When I was nominated to stand for election for President of EBSA in 2019 I never imagined the changes EBSA Council would have to be dealing with over the past 18 months and how it would impact on the relationship between EBSA and its membership. Apart from the obvious negatives such as cancelled conferences and lack of face-to-face meetings, there have been many positives. The move to online conferences and seminars have helped EBSA to become a 365 day a year society for many members and not just a one week of the year organisation. The ease of accessing on-line courses has led to an expansion and an internationalisation of our membership. The increase of membership, the expansion of our training activities and reduction of the risks associated with holding a conference have helped stabilise our financial situation. A big thank you to ETWG, CPWG and Jurgen for facilitating this through all your hard work. I hope we can hold onto these positive developments as we move forwards.

As we approach 2022 we see signs of an improving situation and the time comes for EBSA to organise its first face-to-face conference in three years. I am looking to meet as many of our members as possible then and to enjoy the networking and social activities that we have all enjoyed over the years. The council are very aware that COVID has not disappeared and that every conference poses a risk of financial losses to EBSA. We have experienced this in 2001 when the conference was cancelled at short notice and we had to reschedule our Ljubliana conference due to an Icelandic volcano. Taking the risk of cancellation or low attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions into consideration, Council have taken a decision to hold our 2022 conference in Ghent (17-18 May 2022 courses, 19-20 May 2022 Conference) and to postpone the Athens conference to 2023. Having the conference in Belgium allows EBSA greater agility to respond to the changing situation, as well as having a number of important financial benefits. It allows us to book venues without the requirement to pay non-refundable down payments. It allows us to more rapidly access VAT refunds and it is certainly an attractive and central meeting place with a very active local biosafety community. I certainly think that the last conference held in Ghent was one of our best.  The hope is for a successful conference that will set us up nicely for Athens 2023. To allow us to prepare for Ghent 2022 we will be trying to predict the likely attendance at the event. The following link will take you to a short survey which we encourage you to fill in.

Finally, I would like to thank the Athens LOC for their hard work and look forward to meeting them in 2023 and give a big thank you to the retiring Council members Thomas Binz, ( outgoing president), Rene Custers (outgoing secretary) and Jorge Perez Bruzon for keep EBSA going through challenging times.

All the best and hope to see you in Ghent

Allan Bennett,
EBSA president

+32 9 233 48 66 |
Kerkstraat 108 - 9050 Gentbrugge - Belgium

View online - Manage preferences or unsubscribe