Retrospect: 4. International Conference on Biosafety and Laboratory

The 4th edition of the International Conference on Biosafety and Laboratory lived up to the name: Counting 13 speakers from 6 different countries and about 80 participants from 33 nations, we succeeded in gathering international experts and interested parties in the field of Biosafety and Laboratory online and to start an exchange.

The two days of the Conference focused on two main topics: „Laboratory, Healthcare and Pandemics“ and „Laboratory, Technology and Standards“.

  • Rajka Fritsch (CEO of German LabConCert) opened the event with a Welcome Address. Subsequently, the moderator Jessica Grein (German LabConCert) gave an overview over the event’s program.
  • In the 1st lecture Dr. Jürgen Mertsching (MHH Hannover) and Dr. Bastian Pasche (Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionskrankheiten) provided insights in diagnostics and research during the Coronavirus pandemic. They concentrated on the requirements for BSL-3-laboratories out of the user’s perspective by using clear examples.
  • They were followed by Dr. Timo Kehl (DKFZ Heidelberg) who gave a lecture about humankind’s long relationship with pandemics. He showed the interested audience ways and strategies how to deal productively and positively with the historically grown and acquired knowledge about pandemics.
  • After a short coffee break Florian Kellner-Fendt (Tecniplast Deutschland) talked about animal husbandry in biomedical research. His main focus were automation and digitalization in this field. He was able to show their practical application by vivid and detailled examples.
  • The lunch break was followed by a Partner workshop of EnviroDTS in which Volker Luh demonstrated how to deal with infectious waste water.
  • Dr. Kathrin Summermatter’s (University of Bern – IFIK, Switzerland) lecture explained the decommissioning of a BSL-3-laboratory in a historic building. She gave an overview over the required measures and explained the different steps of the process with profound knowledge based on her experience of many years at the Institute for Infectious diseases.
  • In another Partner Workshop Florian Kellner-Fendt presented Tecniplast Deutschland. He showed a company movie and gave a tour through the virtual showroom.
  • After a second coffee break Paul Langevin (Merrick Canada) informed about new Canadian laboratory design standards.
  • The final event of the first Conference day was a Partner Workshop of HT Group presenting a cooperation project: Dr. Axel Müller (OHB System AG) informed the participants about MUCA (Mobile Unit Contamination Analysis).
  • The second Conference day started with a project report of Huub Klaasen (MEET RIVM, Netherlands) containing information about laboratory construction for the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.
  • In the following lecture Claus Schweinheim (HT Lab Tec GmbH) showed system solutions to transport people and material in BSL-3/4-laboratories and similiar facilities.
  • After a coffee break Frank Tauer´s (ROM Technik) lecture dealt with room ventilation taking in accout wind pressure on the building. As an illustrative analogy he chose the example of the theft of the Dresden jewels in 2019. The wind pressure was compared to the thieves, the ventilation system and its control to the security measures in the Grünes Gewölbe.
  • After the lunch break John Mumford (ASPIDA, France) talked about hospital preparedness for patients with infectious diseases. His presentation contained many examples of practical applications and provided insights for the audience.
  • Jasper Ceuppens and Ph.D Maria Ten Palomares (Doctors without Borders, Belgium) gave report based on experience with the technical and logistical challenges they have to face as NGO representatives. Their focus lay on working with HVAC-systems in healthcare facilities..
  • After a last coffee break Markus Michel (Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik) gave a report (prepared with Dr. Anja Germann of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik) introducing mobile laboratory units against SARS-CoV2 and other pandemics. After explaining the details he gave a live video tour of the mobile units.
  • The Conference ended with a concluding discussion with all speakers, divided into two groups based on the main topics „Laboratory, Healthcare and Pandemics“ and „Laboratory, Technology and Standards“.

Once again we managed with the 4. International Conference on Biosafety and Laboratory to start an international exchange of experts, raise new issues and to consider the changing events of 2020 and their impact on the whole field.

For sure we will face many new questions and challenges concerning Biosafety and Laboratory within the next months – we already look forward to discuss them with you in the next and 5. Conference on Biosafety and Laboratory 2021 (29th to 30th of November)!

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