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Our latest machines won’t change the world

When people talk about oncology research, Lausanne is often mentioned as being one of the world’s hotspots. And it’s true: the region offers excellent infrastructure and access to talent and funding. You could also say that Biopôle itself is an example of this incredible offering. But what is the secret to being a world leader when it comes to saving patients and making their lives more dignified? Is it really the amount of money invested? Or is it the employees’ academic credentials? Perhaps it’s the design of our latest machines? I don’t think so.

I am convinced that the convergence of brilliant minds is what we should really be looking for. The word ‘convergence’ literally means to ‘bend together’: an apt word to illustrate the need, namely in the field of oncology, to flex difficulties into solutions, to swerve around challenges, to bring scientists together to share their expertise and experiences. Working in silos is the old approach to innovation; today, excellent ideas come from relentless work, failures, exchanges and standing on the shoulders of giants.

I am aware that without the required infrastructure, money and talent, we won’t go far. And yet, with all of these but without a convergence of minds, we won’t get very far either. With the Convergence in Oncology Summit, we want to help people connect the dots, connect with each other, exchange ideas – in short, to co-create the leading patient solutions of tomorrow.

Our team has collaborated to organise this event for three years, and 2020 marks the first digital-only summit. Through it, we aim to help our region’s talent work together and to give start-ups, researchers and larger companies access to the knowledge of speakers from all around the world. We want to facilitate unprogrammed encounters and unexpected, mind-opening exchanges. If innovation is also about chance, we want to create an environment that gives rise to serendipity.

Lausanne might not be at number one in the rankings for oncology research yet. However, among other players that make this region attractive, we want to help Lausanne become the place where we make a difference for and with patients. Social distancing will not stop us from converging minds and accelerating innovative solutions for cancer care. I look forward to welcoming all of you to the digital 2020 edition of the Convergence in Oncology Summit.

Nasri Nahas, Chief Executive Officer at Biopôle SA

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The Convergence in Oncology Summit is an annual international assembly that brings together industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors active in the field of oncology to debate and explore synergies that can accelerate the development of the most promising solutions in the field.

The 2020 event will take place over two days, with six panels and 30 speakers from across the globe.

Among our speakers are George Coukos (Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research), Bill Burns (Molecular Partners), Marco Iansiti (HBS), Robert F. Murphy (Carnegie Mellon University), Miro Venturi (Foundation Medicine), Jing Watnick (Vigeo Therapeutics) and Bettina Ryll (Melanoma Patient Network Europe).

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