ELRIG UK comments on Drug Discovery 2021 

The Fall Issue of the Drug Discovery World Magazine is accompanied by an exclusive DDW & ELRIG UK supplement ahead of ELRIG UK’s Drug Discovery 2021 in Liverpool, October 19-20, 2021. In it, ELRIG UK’s General Manager Sanj Kumar welcomes the event and introduces the themes.  

In 2019, ELRIG’s flagship scientific conference, Drug Discovery, attracted over 1,300 delegates who gathered at the free-to-attend two-day event to listen to over 50 scientific presentations, attend application-based workshops, meet with over 120 life-science suppliers and to network. During the pandemic in 2020, the event went online, using ELRIG’s bespoke virtual conference-exhibition hall platform, still attracting over 1000 attendees – though all agreed they missed the face-to-face aspect. 

For Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG is delighted to return with a face-to-face meeting, which will be held in the renowned Exhibition Centre, ACC Liverpool from October 19-20, with similar numbers of delegates and exhibitors expected as in 2019.   

2021’s event promises to be a platform for the whole drug discovery community to meet, where members of ELRIG’s community may: 

  • Re-connect with colleagues and hear from the scientists responsible for combatting Covid-19 in the session tracks on infection and diagnostics. 
  • Re-invent the process of drug discovery, by building diverse partnerships with even greater emphasis on efficiency, automation, and remote operation in our session tracks of screening and chemistry. 
  • Re-imagine and create a new vision for drug discovery, with insights from our innovation and disruptive strategies tracks. 

As well as the core 50 scientific presentations, 2021’s programme will have parallel activities designed to educate and support differing segments of our 12,000 strong community.   

For example, almost 30% of delegates self-ascribe themselves as Early Career Professionals (ECP), so programming will include science communication and CV writing workshops to help this ELRIG group develop their skills and secure their next position in the drug discovery industry. Being in-person also fits with other ECP activities such as the speed networking activity “Network like a boss”, where ECPs will meet senior leaders of the drug discovery industry and Questae Coaching & Consulting will provide 1:1 mentoring services. 

Other parallel activities include the launch of ELRIG’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity guiding principles (EDI), which is a pledge written by EDI leaders from the ELRIG community to ensure that all ELRIG activities will promote equality (by welcoming all to our events), inclusivity (by ensuring all are able to attend) and that the events represent the community’s diversity. Supporting the EDI Guiding Principles, there will be podium talks and workshops on the topics of racism and science inclusivity run by EDIS (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health, a Wellcome Trust funded organisation). 

For the first time, next to the poster section and building on ELRIG’s innovation zone, there will be SLAS’ Innovation AveNEW. This is a globally renowned opportunity to elevate products, companies or services that shift the paradigm of drug discovery. and we expect Europe’s brightest and most exciting biotech start-ups to attend. 

ELRIG has planned for a Covid-safe event and takes the safety of all its participants seriously. Drug Discovery 2021 promises to be a must-attend event, with the latest science and workshops being presented in a Covid-safe environment. We look forward to physically meeting you. 

About the author 

Sanj Kumar first joined ELRIG as a voluntary treasurer in 2001. As an activity done in his spare time, ELRIG helped Kumar develop his network within the European drug discovery community, and aided his understanding of the science behind the discovery of new medicines. After a 20-year career in biotech start-ups, Kumar is now the full-time General Manager of ELRIG. 

Volume 22, Issue 4 – Fall 2021 / ELRIG Drug Discovery 2021 supplement 

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