Professor Rudy Nuijts, Ridley Medal Lecturer with ESCRS President, Professor Beatrice Cochener
The ESCRS will continue to innovate and fine-tune its mission to better serve the interests of its members through high-quality clinical research and education, Beatrice Cochener, ESCRS President told delegates at the official Opening Ceremony of the 36th ESCRS Congress in Vienna.
Welcoming more than 9,000 delegates from over 123 countries, Prof Cochener said that this year’s Congress offered a first-rate scientific programme and a wide range of symposia, courses and wet labs covering most major fields of ophthalmology.
“The numbers tell their own story. At this year’s congress we have 16 symposia, 572 free papers, 120 instructional courses, 77 wet labs, and a very well supported trade exhibition with over 326 exhibiting companies taking part,” she said.
The phenomenal success of the ESCRS has been built on a culture of innovation and a desire to keep pace with the evolving needs of its members, explained Prof Cochener.
“It is important to adapt and introduce new features to the Congress. This year sees the introduction of the Free Paper Forum which is designed to facilitate greater interactivity between presenters and the audience. We have also introduced an IME multi-sponsored educational programme combining symposia, newsletter, online forum and didactic articles for the next three years,” she said.
Another new initiative, the European Registry for Childhood Cataract Surgery (EURECCA), spearheaded by Marie-José Tassignon, follows in the footsteps of EUREQUO and is designed to improve outcomes and quality assurance in infants and children.
This year’s congress also sees the introduction of the ESCRS Heritage Lecture which is intended to put the focus on key developments and breakthrough moments in the history of ophthalmology.
The Peter Barry Fellowship, now in its second year, would further strengthen the Society’s commitment to young ophthalmologists, she said. This year’s recipient of the Fellowship is Andreas Frings from Würzburg, Germany.
Speaking on behalf of the local organising committee, Oliver Findl, Chairman of the Young Ophthalmologists Programme and ESCRS Secretary urged delegates to savour the delights of his Vienna, a city that offered many attractions to delegates once the serious business of the Congress was accomplished.