During these challenging times the WBC Executive Committee has been involved in many discussions with the IUSBSE representatives acting as advocates for the various regional Biomaterials societies and have decided to reschedule the Congress to 11th-16th of Dec 2020. This was a difficult decision, as I’m sure many are aware, with many options open and no one right answer. Many other conferences are being cancelled altogether, some are investigating the potential to go virtual; the WBC is a major event and we are very lucky to have such a prestigious event planned within the UK.
If attendees have any specific queries regarding the conference registration and the policy relating to Modification & Cancellation – this can be found here. For those who may not be able to attend the organisers are also in the process of extending the deadline for cancellation beyond the 15th of April 2020 and hope to announce this new date shortly. But before you may think about cancelling, please do look out for the exciting and creative opportunities that will be showcased over the coming months with the introduction of a WBC2020 Virtual Community and Meetings Platform.
The WBC2020 Executive Committee has also been working with PCO (MCI) in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, in addition to normal day-to-day activities, they have been working on developing a mitigation strategy in the case that there are further restrictions due to the pandemic later in the year. This strategy is based on the development of digital engagement and virtual meetings solutions.
It was exciting to hear that not only have they planned for potential difficulties, they are also launching WBC Online, a comprehensive digital space where all WBC registrants and international biomaterials specialists can come together in online discussion forum to share, learn and engage with each other. The WBC Online community will be able to join online special interest groups and gain access to a valued pool of e-resources in the run up to, during WBC Live and beyond. In addition to hot news, product development and up and coming biomaterial society events featured on the platform, all WBC registrants will be able to view and participate in a schedule of online WBC interactive webinars, society symposia, WBC sponsored satellite webinars and international guest lectures to be broadcast in the months running up to WBC Live. All WBC registrants will be auto-enrolled into WBC Online and will benefit from all of its features, including live streamed sessions broadcast live from WBC Live. Additionally, all registrants will enjoy access to WBC Online for a period of two years as part of their 2020 registration fees.
Some attendees and group PIs have expressed concerns over the rescheduling of the event for PhDs or PDRAs who may no longer be in their employ in Dec. The WBC Executive Committee are in the process of discussing solutions to this and will be in a position to update over the coming weeks.
The UKSB will still be hosting a special workshop as part of the event, and look forward to many of you attending. We are excited about the prospect of engaging widely during the physical event in Glasgow, and certainly the opportunities that a virtual platform may enable.
In the run up to this event the UKSB will also be co-hosting a free virtual event with many of the UK Centres of Doctoral Training (CDT) engaged in biomaterials and regenerative medicine research. Updates for this will be coming soon, but there will be an opportunity to take part with a call for abstracts coming out soon.
The UKSB council take this opportunity to wish you and your families well. Please keep safe and look after each other, even if virtually.