Recap: Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology (RAFT®14) in Orlando

Posted 12/13/22 by . Filed under Featured News, Meeting Calendar, News and Updates.

Fairfax, VA (December 12, 2022) – After cancelling the RAFT meeting in 2021 due to a COVID surge and relocating the rescheduled 2022 meeting due to the devastation caused by hurricane Ian, it was a pleasure to (finally!) hold the RAFT®14 meeting in-person last month in Orlando from November 6th to 9th. Despite all of the challenges—and another impending hurricane—the conference was very well-attended with more than 300 people from industry, government, and academia from 21 different countries. It was one of the largest RAFT meetings in recent memory!

We were privileged to open the symposium with a recently elected National Academy of Engineering Keynote Speaker, Dr. Michael V. Arbige, a 40-year veteran of the biotech community. Dr. Arbige led us through a detailed presentation of his career track and advice on how to launch and sustain successful biotechnology companies.

This year’s program contained five scientific sessions: “Overcoming fermentation failure: Lessons learned,” “Alternative fermentation systems,” “Natural product biosynthesis,” “Alternative systems to animal cell culture,” “Model driven strain & fermentation process development,” and “Fermentation foods for today and tomorrow.” All of the sessions were well attended and packed with very informative speakers, but sadly, due to the imminent arrival of hurricane Nicole, “Fermentation foods for today and tomorrow” had to be moved to recorded presentations and slides available to registered attendees here in the online program. The conference also included two packed poster sessions and a round table session on “Future faces of fermentation.”

See More Photos!
Click here to see the full album of 200 photos from the meeting!

Attendees also had opportunities to discuss their fermentation needs with over 30 exhibitors attending the meeting and to learn about new technologies during nine exhibitor showcases. Having attended multiple RAFT conferences, it is always a pleasure to see the friendly faces in the exhibitor hall, meet new people, and renew old acquaintances.

I would also like to thank the RAFT®14 sponsors BioP2P Network, Corteva Agriscience, Applied Materials, and Kuhner Shaker for their generous support.

Overall, it was an honor to be the Program Chair of RAFT®14 and I am thankful to have worked with such an experienced and dedicated team to make this in-person conference a reality, including 2022 Co-Chair Kat Allikian and SIMB staff members Tina Hockaday, Haley Cox, Chris Lowe, and James Earle. In addition, I want to say a big thank you to the session conveners, who dealt with multiple last-minute changes and dropouts due to the pandemic and hurricanes. In many ways, the conveners almost had to plan two separate sessions, but they all came through to make RAFT®14 such a success.

I am very much looking forward to the continued success of the RAFT conference series. RAFT®15 will take place October 29 – November 1, 2023, in Naples, Florida, where the Program Chair will be Kat Allikian.

My sincerest thanks and best wishes to all.

Mark Berge
RAFT®14 Program Chair

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