Although the ARDAT Project has been running for almost 2 years, because of the restrictions placed upon travel and meeting throughout the COVID pandemic, all interactions between the project partners had been through various forms of videoconferencing. The General Assembly 2022 was therefore the first opportunity that most participants had to meet face to face. The Meeting was scheduled to happen immediately after the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Meeting
in Edinburgh so that the many ARDAT members who were attending that meeting could stay on to attend the General Assembly.
After an informal get together the night before where everyone was required to “guess the oher ARDAT member” the Meeting proper started on the Morning of 16th October with 50 ARDAT members convening together for the first time. To allow full participation, the meeting was run in a hybrid real-time/virtual format, allowing members who could not physically attend to see and interact as though they were in the room. Thanks to the team at Video Production Edinburgh
for providing a seamless hybrid meeting service over both days of the meeting.
The first days proceedings were kicked off by a welcome from Greg LaRosa (Project Lead) and Mimoun Azzouz (Project Coordinator) who then gave way for a full agenda of presentations and discussions on the work carried out in the various work-packages over the preceding 2 years. For many, it was the first opportunity to engage with members outside of their work-package groups and by the end of the day many new alliances started to form. The first day was concluded by a Meeting Dinner where people could continue their conversations in a more relaxed environment.
The second day was given over to round table break-out groups split by work package to allow an uninterrupted discussion on the progress and future direction of the Tasks and Sub-Tasks, the face to face format allowing real progress to be made on many of the ongoing issues.
All in all, the meeting was a great success and helped to bring together some very good and productive work streams as the project enters its third year.
One of the many useful discussion sessions
Manuela Braun (Bayer) presenting on assay development strategies
Chris Mann (Asphalion) explaining the developing relationships with Regulatory Agencies pursued by WP5
Mark Trautwein (Bayer) presenting an overview of activities in WP2