I first came across the GapSummit in November 2015. The meeting was organized by Global Biotech Revolution and was to be held April 2016 at Cambridge, UK. Looking at the agenda, I noted the Voices of Tomorrow competition, which aimed at getting all the participants to form groups and come up with possible solutions for the ‘gaps’ in the biotech sector, found in research and innovation, funding, future health, future resources, people, bioethics, and public perception & education.
I applied to attend as a leader of tomorrow. This required me to write an essay explaining why I wanted to attend and in December, I was informed that I have been selected to attend the Gapsummit 2016. I was elated!
The “leader of tomorrow” title I think is apt, since the science students of today will be future leaders. Millions of students and postdocs like me are future leaders in the biotech sector. We are the ones who are going to make life liveable in this fast-paced world!
In April, I attended the GapSummit 2016, and it was a phenomenal experience. According to their website, “GapSummit is the world’s first inter-generational and inter-cultural leadership summit in biotech.” It aims “to connect the biotech think-tanks, industrial leaders and research pioneers who are going to become the young bio-leaders of tomorrow and initiate a discussion about the gaps in the sector.”
This was definitely what I experienced when I was at the meeting. I found the experience enriching and felt the need to do a similar event in Singapore, the first of its kind here. I wanted to create a conducive atmosphere for groups of focused and motivated bio-leaders who will help advance the biotech and healthcare ecosystem in Singapore.
After several discussions with Global Biotech Revolution, they decided to organize the Singapore Leaders of Tomorrow (SLoT) Forum (thanks to Kelvin Chan for facilitating this!), to be held on October 19th 2016, with Biotechin.Asia (Disclaimer: I am the co-founder of Biotechin.Asia) as a key partner. I then started forming a team in Singapore; I roped in Laxmi Iyer, my partner at Biotechin.Asia, and other colleagues to join in as part of the executive team. A*STAR, where I am a research fellow, has been supportive of this effort, and the forum will be held at their premises.