Retrospective: Semmering Symposium 2011

The 5th Semmering Vaccine Symposium was highly appreciated by both contributors and attendees and succeeded in gathering both representatives from the world leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, top researches from the academia, as well as representatives from governmental and non-profit organizations. The three day long symposium took place at the Hotel Schloss Weikersdorf in Baden, close to Vienna. The relaxed ambience of the whole setting was highly appreciated by the around 150 attendees and offered good networking opportunities.

The 5th Semmering Vaccine Symposium was dedicated to latest vaccine innovations, improved vaccine administration, the importance of vaccine for global health care, badly needed novel vaccines and the acceptance of vaccination by the public. Vienna Vaccines also had the honor to welcome the key note speaker Martin Schuurmans, President of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), giving a talk about the central triangle between knowledge, education and innovation in Europe. With this Schuurmans elaborated on one of the emphases of the Semmering Vaccine Symposia which has characterized the area of vaccines.

The 5th Semmering Vaccine symposium experimented with a new symposium format. The key innovation was the challenge of the speakers and their results by a panel of equally competent experts.  The cardinal aim of this discussion was to critically examine strengths and weaknesses of the presented data with regard to their relevance for both the theory and praxis of vaccine development.  This procedure led to an unprecedented liveliness of discussion and revealed more than ever the need for a meeting allowing for a confrontation and critical exchange of the different relevant areas (basic research, pratical vaccine development, market and finance, public perception).

All participants were also invited to an Austrian Evening, including traditional Austrian food and an extraordinary film and music event entitledIn the footsteps of The Third Man - A cinematic and musical journey through Vienna” presented by Michael Loebenstein and accompanied by live zither music performed by Cornelia Mayer.