On Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 May 2017 COAST’s first two-day conference, Forum for Analytical Science and Technology (FAST) at Koningshof, Veldhoven took place. It was very positively received!
Over 100 scientists, industry representatives, PhD students, PostDocs and MSc+ students attended FAST. During the conference, it became clear how big the COAST community is and how varied the different research fields are. During the scientific part of the conference, the poster sessions and the break, enthusiastic discussions took place between all participants.
The scientific part of the conference included Curiosity presentations (for purely academic research), Challenge presentations (reporting progress in the public-private TA-COAST projects, the TA-COAST program is exectuted by NWO and COAST), Valorization presentations (focused on application of research results in industry and society) and Instruments & Infrastructure presentations. Renowned scientists, like Manfred Wilhelm, Gyorgy Marko-Varga, Thomas Hankermeier and Albert Heck, and promising PhD students and PostDocs shared recent developments in plenary, keynote, and parallel lectures. Parallel lecture sessions were dedicated to the specific application areas Life Sciences, Chemistry/Polymers, Chemistry/Energy & Water, Food Science, and High-Tech.
The breaks were highly interactive and informative with ample opportunity to learn about innovative research via the poster sessions, and to expand networks by meeting colleagues from the analytical chemistry community.
At the end of the first day, while the COAST Participant Council Meeting was held in another part of the venue, young researchers had to collaborate in five teams in the Young Scientists Consortium Building workshop. During this workshop, each team of young researchers worked hard to come up with a public-private research proposal. In the dinner break that followed, they had to “sell” their ideas to industry to gather financial support (consisting of COAST monopoly-money in the pockets of the private COAST participants). The group with the best proposal and private commitment (jury decision) won the workshop. The winning team was iCare (see separate news item). The prize, a feasibility-study grant of max € 5,600.-, can be used to explore the potential of the research proposal.
We thank all the lectures for the successful event and hope this will lead to even more collaborations and an even more interactive community. We also hope that the enthusiasm experienced promises an even greater number of participants in FAST 2018.