The 2nd edition of SILS Will Extend the Reach of Local Expertise on Autonomy and Aging



PRESS RELEASE – Given the success and positive effects of the first Sherbrooke International Life Sciences Summit (SILS) in 2013, Sherbrooke Innopole is proud to announce the second edition, which will be held next September 28-30 under the theme Autonomy and Aging Challenges & Outlook.

The event will bring together major players from the pharmaceutical and medical technologies industries, from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), investors, university students, and researchers from around the world to discuss impacts and development prospects in relation to population aging and autonomy. Once again, collaboration will be the leitmotif of the Summit, with the objective of generating new research and business partnerships.

“The vision of support for autonomy we are putting forward at the Summit goes beyond the elderly and includes people of all ages who use medication or require technological assistance to live a better life following illness or an accident. This will further extend and enrich the scope of discussions,’’ noted Josée Blanchard, Director, Business Development – Life Sciences key sector at Sherbrooke Innopole.

SILS 2015 will take place under the honorary chairmanship of Patrick J. Cashman, President and General Manager of Lundbeck Canada, a pharmaceutical company that in 2015 is celebrating its 20th year in our country and whose head office is located in Denmark.

SILS 2015 postacard

Varied program

Already, more than 10 speakers from large companies and education and research institutions have confirmed their participation, including GE Healthcare, Hogeweyk (Netherlands), Lundbeck, and Zimmer CAS.

The opening speech will be given by Dr. Joel Dudley, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Director of Biomedical Informatics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. According to Fast Company, Dr. Dudley is among the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2014. For example, his research on personalized genomics uses modeling to predict which treatment will be most effective based on the unique molecular pattern of tumors. He is also the author and co-author of over 50 scientific papers and holds multiple patents.

The Chief Scientist of Québec, Rémi Quirion, will conduct the panel discussion that will conclude this Summit, in which representatives from Flanders’ Care (Belgium), Hebrew SeniorLife (United States), Lund University (Sweden), and Swansea University (Wales) will take part.

The program includes an important networking component to enable the 300 or so expected participants to conduct personalized business meetings based on their needs and expectations. New this year, the Summit will feature elevator pitches from SMEs and researchers in addition to the lectures and B2B meetings. Participants will also have the opportunity to discover an iconic landmark of Sherbrooke during the casino-reception at the Granada Theatre.

“The objective is to offer a high-quality and diversified program, while fostering as much formal and informal meetings between participants as possible. When compared to other international life sciences events, the intimate setting of the Summit makes it possible to achieve this while offering a top-quality event that is reasonably priced for participants,” summarized Josée Blanchard.

To date, four overseas delegations have confirmed their participation in SILS 2015, from Sweden, Wales, France, and Belgium; Medicon Village, Life Sciences Hub Wales, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, and LifeTech Limburg, organizations dedicated to the development of life sciences and partners of Sherbrooke Innopole, will be joined by companies from their respective territories.

“Prevention and support for autonomy are challenges that all societies must face with dignity in a proactive manner,” highlighted Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole. “The opportunities for technological as well as social innovation are endless in this sector, which will develop at an accelerated pace in the coming years. Moreover, the Estrie region is known worldwide for its expertise in this field. The stage has been set for successful collaborations to arise from this Summit and to result in innovative solutions that will benefit patients from every corner of the globe.”

In 2013

The first edition of SILS brought together close to 300 participants from Canada, the United States, France, England, Sweden, and Ireland. More than 400 private business meetings were held, enabling new business opportunities to be explored and created.

Furthermore, in a survey that followed the event, around 84% of respondents said they expected SILS 2013 business meetings to create new partnerships. Among companies from Sherbrooke, DIEX Recherche obtained contracts with a multinational company and a large research centre located in Montréal which had originally intended those studies for the American market. For its part, Imeka Solutions signed a major partnership with Biospective, the leader in image processing and histopathology services. Another fledgling company from Sherbrooke, Immune Biosolutions, is currently at the negotiating table with a French SME. Negotiations are also still underway between Dr. Benoit Paquette, Head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology at the Université de Sherbrooke and researcher at the CHUS Research Centre, and a Boston company for a research collaboration.

The 2015 edition of the Summit is organized in partnership with Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) and Canada’s Medical Technology Companies (MEDEC), with the financial support of the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations (MEIE, Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Exports) of Québec, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), and the City of Sherbrooke. Numerous sponsors also contribute to the success of this event.

The Summit is part of the action plan for the SAGE-Innovation ACCORD cluster for excellence and aims to, among other things, promote and position the Estrie region in the heart of national and international partners’ networks.

Registration for SILS 2015 is open, and the early-bird rate is valid up to May 31, 2015. All details on the Summit are available online at sils-sherbrooke.com, as well as on Twitter (@SILS_Sherbrooke), Facebook, and LinkedIn (“SILS – Sherbrooke International Life Sciences Summit” group).

About Sherbrooke Innopole

Sherbrooke Innopole is the City of Sherbrooke’s economic development organization whose mission is to ensure innovative, dynamic, and consistent economic growth by promoting the development of companies created from Sherbrooke ingenuity and research, attracting new businesses, and supporting existing firms in their expansion, innovation, and internationalization initiatives. sherbrooke-innopole.com

» Press release – Government of Canada