On 20-21 September 2022, the FlyPharma Conference Europe made a welcome return as a live, in-person event. The conference was warmly received by its delegates and declared a resounding success, with some familiar faces from previous events and many new ones in attendance across the two days.
Leipzig, Germany was chosen as FlyPharma’s host city to address the latest supply chain challenges and industry best practices, with a global audience of (bio)pharma and logistics professionals. The two-day conference set out to discuss collaboration opportunities and growth within central Germany and further afield, with a special focus on post-COVID-19 supply chain challenges and how to successfully manage and progress from the rapid changes hitting the industry over the last three years.
Leipzig/Halle Airport offered significant support to the conference as its headline sponsor, alongside Saxony Trade & Invest and Investment & Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt, representing Leipzig’s two supporting regions as VIP exhibitors. The three companies also showcased the collaborative project ‘airea – the Airport Region in Central Germany’, which highlighted the area’s strength as a pharma logistics hub. Etihad Cargo were sponsors of the event lanyards, and delta T Gesellschaft für Medizintechnik mbH and Flughafen Wien AG (Vienna Airport) also exhibited at the conference.
With this being the sixth European edition of the event, and the eighth globally, repeat attendees have become accustomed to the interactive style of the event, where questions and discussion are actively encouraged, and where the most energetic periods are instigated by contributions from the expert-filled audience. FlyPharma 2022 was no different; rather than a succession of lectures, delegates discovered an extended meeting of minds from some of the most influential figures in the pharma logistics space, as well as from (bio)pharma, life sciences and biotech.
The Pre-Conference Welcome Reception took place on the eve of the main conference on 19 September at BIO CITY LEIPZIG: delegates heard a series of short presentations from Merle Fuchs, managing director and co-founder of startup PRAMOMOLECULAR Gmbh, and Thomas Tradler, Head of Business Development and Patent Management, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, offering an insight into why logistics questions play an important role for them and their partners, and why biopharma should seek more involvement in this critical part of the supply chain. These talks were followed by networking, local beer and canapés.
At the start of Day 1 (20 September) of the main conference at Leipziger Messe, FlyPharma Europe Chair, Geert Leroy, opened the conference before welcoming to the stage a variety of expert pharma and logistics speakers. Götz Ahmelmann, CEO of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, spoke first about the increased connectivity that the region’s airports were bringing to Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, introducing the theme of collaboration that ran throughout the two days.
Among the many expert speakers at FlyPharma, Yoram Eshel, former head of global transportation and logistics at Teva Pharmaceuticals, and founder and chief executive officer of Cannabilog, delivered an energetic and impassioned talk about the challenges of preparing for forces outside of our control, but also the opportunities that this presents to the logistics companies agile enough to capitalise on solutions.
Nowhere was the interactive nature of FlyPharma seen more clearly and with such force than the Q&A following a presentation from Sonia Ben Hamida, head of special cargo, International Air Transport Association (IATA), covering topics such as digitalisation and sustainability. An extended and lively debate involving a number of audience members began, covering process standardisation and data information sharing in order to enable more efficient logistics practices.
Another highlight of the event was the joint talk by Ada Palmadottir, vice president of business development at Controlant and Tomas Fant, Temperature Control Logistics Global Projects Lead at Pfizer, joining virtually. The pair talked at length about the measures that were taken to tackle the “greatest logistical challenge of our time”, with the cold chain control tower managing to ensure a 99.99% successful delivery rate of the Pfizer vaccine.
The conference saw some dynamic and engaging panel discussions, with Tushar Jani, group chairman, Cargo Service Center, expertly moderating two panels of Pharma.Aero members, and FlyPharma’s chair, Geert Leroy, leading another panel focusing on startups. The cross-section of industry expertise that FlyPharma provides was on show in all panels, with speakers from a wide range of sectors, and with an array of expertise, contributing to a strong succession of talks.
Day one sessions were followed by an evening networking event at the same venue, attended by the majority of the delegates and offering an opportunity to debrief on the day’s activities.
The second day of the conference (21 September) also featured a range of logistics and pharma/biotech speakers, and concluded with the exciting announcement from Vienna Airport that they will be playing host to FlyPharma Europe 2023. They put forward a powerful case for the airport as the perfect venue for next year’s event and created a real buzz for what the next conference will hold.
Fabrice Panza then announced the equally exciting news that there will also be a FlyPharma Middle East, held in Abu Dhabi, in 2023. This will be the first to be held in this region as FlyPharma, and its reputation as the place to be for those in pharma logistics, continues its upward trajectory.
At the conclusion of the conference, attendees were offered a look behind the scenes of Leipzig/Halle Airport with an exclusive site tour. At Europe’s third largest cargo hub, and with a showcase of the World Cargo Center’s cooling facilities, delegates were given an overview of what cargo handling means at the airport and how it copes with all kinds of temperature-sensitive goods.
The FlyPharma Conferences team would like to thank all speakers and sponsors for their contribution towards making this event a success.
FlyPharma Europe will return for its seventh year in 2023 in Vienna, Austria. FlyPharma Middle East will also present its inaugural event in 2023. Full details for both events will be announced soon.
Visit the FlyPharma Europe website at www.FlyPharmaEurope.com for more details on this year’s event and to register your interest for future conferences.