Speaking from a personal perspective, I have seen my responsibilities with the running of EAACI change drastically since taking over the presidency in June. I have already mapped out my Strategic Programme for the next few years and I believe that the Executive Committee and I have already taken the first few steps towards achieving the goals of the Strategic Plan. We have made great strides in terms of our engagement with the EU and are developing our events in an effort to stay up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries. This goes alongside delivering a positive educational experience to all those who attend our meetings.
Keeping EAACI meetings in mind, we have had an extraordinary year in terms of event output. We began the year with the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting, FAAM 2013, in Nice, France before moving on to Leuven, Belgium for the Symposium on Experimental Rhinology and Immunology of the Nose, SERIN 2013.
Milan, Italy was the proud host of the EAACI-WAO Congress 2013 in June. This was attended by 8,000 people and the efforts of both the Scientific Programme Committee and the Local Organising Committee helped make it an outstanding experience, both on a scientific and networking level.
The Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting, PAAM 2013 was then held in Athens, Greece, the largest event of its kind with nearly 1,000 attendees. Both the scale, scientific quality and interactivity of the meeting continues to improve and astound.
Finally, we have concluded our Focused Meetings of 2013, with the International Symposium on Molecular Allergology (ISMA) that just took place in Vienna, Austria, highlighting the state-of-the-art in molecular allergology. Adding on top of this a host of Allergy Schools which took place in, Erlangen, Greifswald, Malaga, Munich and Pichl as well as the many Task Force meetings that took place, and it rounds out a fully and highly productive year!
Needless to say that the Academy will not be taking its foot off of the pedal going into 2014. Not only are the headquarters moving into a new office but further efforts are continuing to be made to make the next 12 months even more successful. The 2014 Congress is taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark (with the Preliminary Programme now online and abstract submission open) as well as the Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting, DHM 2014 (Bern, Switzerland from 9 – 12 April), Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting, Skin Allergy Meeting, SAM 2014 (Krakow, Poland from 18 – 20 September) and Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting, FAAM 2014 (Dublin, Ireland in October) as well as five Allergy Schools scheduled. We are keen to improve the service we provide at all events and hopefully you will see the fruits of our labour at all of these meetings over the next 12 months.
We are continuing to make steady progress and should view 2013 as a benchmark to surpass in 2014.
I hope you appreciate and have the opportunity to take advantage of all these activities, which are of course designed to make the EAACI member experience a unique one!