It was a fantastic day, when the ReproUnion network met on 2 September to hear and discuss how multi-disciplinary collaboration drives innovation and competence development in reproductive health – now and in the future! Together, the excellent speakers connected results so far with the thoughts on a ReproUnion beyond 2022, when the current project period, supported by the EU/Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak program, concludes end of September.
It brought about joy and laughter to look back at a decade of collaboration – especially during the grand opening by Miss Oocyte 2022, alias Stine Gry Kristensen from the ReproUnion Executive board and by Chairman, Jens Sønksen, who entered the room with a handful of balloons, shaped as sperm cells. It conveyed a clear message on ReproUnion’s purpose and was followed by an overview of how far the public-private partnership has come towards the aim of preventing and treating infertility, while making the Øresund region world leading in the field of reproductive medicine.
The atmosphere in the room became more serious and heartfelt when Camilla from the ReproUnion film (2021) shared her story on how the participation in a ReproUnion research project became the last call to help her and her husband to build a family. This was a relevant warm-up to the further panel session and perspectives on how cross-border collaboration drives regional growth.
“For over a decade, Denmark and Skåne have had a unique collaboration concerning research in reproductive health and the fight against involuntary childlessness. The collaboration across national borders is so successful because it connects everything from practical clinical everyday life in hospitals, to biobanks and world-leading research in its field – and it links the healthcare that people need in their everyday lives with the expertise of universities and the development of medical companies. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this project,” said Anna Mannfalk, Vice President of the Health Council of the Skåne Region. She continued in a panel session with Lars Gaardhøj, Chairman of the Regional Council of the Capital Region of Denmark, as well as Margareta Kitlinski and Søren Ziebe, who represented ReproUnion. The panel agreed that the infertility issues should be considered a burning platform for the society and that the reproductive health experts need help from politicians to facilitate relevant and open discussions about involuntary childlessness.
The Summit also highlighted the importance of attracting and fostering research talent and launched a new film about ReproUnion’s efforts to build the next generation of reproductive researchers – for the benefit of academia, industry and hospitals, as well as society at large.
“It is with pleasure that we celebrate the successes our partnership has achieved so far and take a future perspective, where we want to build capacity by developing and supporting the scale up of innovative ideas in collaboration with start-ups and other companies in the field of reproduction. We also want to continue supporting the next generation of researchers to benefit from the knowledge built up over the past decade, which is well on its way to making the region a world leader in reproductive medicine. We will therefore submit a strong application to Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak later this month, and we are grateful to have commitments for continued support from Region Skåne, Region Hovedstaden and Ferring Pharmaceuticals,” concludes Aleksander Giwercman, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Board Member of ReproUnion.
The SUMMIT was organised by ReproUnion’s Management Unit, run by Medicon Valley Alliance, who during 25 years has worked for the benefit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the Øresund region’s life science community.
Watch pictures from the Summit below and our new film right here!
Gallery of images