FORUM: The journey so far

This year, we are celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the FORUM. Here our President, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, reflects on the growth of the FORUM over the years.

The Academy’s FORUM was established in 2003 to recognise the role of industry in medical research.

Since its inception, the FORUM has grown from strength to strength in continuing to build connections and catalyse collaboration across industry, academia, the NHS and the wider healthcare sector.

Over the past few years, there has been a significant expansion in the number of FORUM events and their influence, which has led to a vibrant, high-impact programme which addresses critical policy topics in the medical sciences.

When the FORUM was first established it centred on a yearly flagship event, the FORUM Annual Lecture, which attracts high-profile speakers and attendees to discuss exciting advances in medical science. This continues to take place as a prestigious event in the Academy’s calendar, but the programme has grown year on year to incorporate a range of different types of events, each of which tackles a key area in biomedical research and healthcare.

This growth is also reflected in the increasing number and diversity of FORUM donors, which currently comprises 39 organisations drawn from across the breadth of the medical sciences ecosystem, having expanded significantly from 19 member organisations in 2014. Our donors come from large pharma and SMEs, charities and non-departmental public bodies, universities, learned societies, AHSNs, and many others. This range of expertise ensures rich discussions at our events, and that the programme is collaborative, timely and relevant to the current scientific and political landscape.

In the future, we will ensure that the FORUM continues to embrace new science, organisations and sectors as part of the increasingly multidisciplinary, cross-sector approach to medical research and healthcare. We will also continue seeking to build bridges across these many components to drive the translation of research into patient benefit.

For more information about the FORUM, or how to become a donor, please visit the dedicated FORUM section of our website.

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