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Partnerships bridge academic and industry professionals in CRS

In one of my former blog posts, I addressed the various interfaces in CRS as sources of interaction and noted that we should leverage these interfaces more in the future. Especially, I emphasized the interface between our academic and industrial members, which is unique for CRS. At our Annual Meeting, we build a program for our broad membership and cannot dive deep into all topics of interest. CRS is therefore looking into additional, different instruments to add membership value by focusing on specific topics of interest.

Partnership events are an excellent instrument to focus deeply on one specific topic of interest in the delivery science and technology (S&T) field, addressing the main challenges and the best scientific solutions to solve them. Topics may relate to CRS's core area or may be topics, where delivery S&T is relatively new and innovative and could be a game changer in the future. The field of delivery S&T is a highly multidisciplinary field, where collaborations of partners with different expertise are the key to future solutions.

Important attributes for a successful partnership are a shared vision and mission, complementary contributions and skills, mutual trust and a win-win situation for all partners involved.

GSK-CRS Long-Acting Injectables and Implantables Conference

I am very glad that I now can draw your attention to the 1st Annual GSK-CRS Long-Acting Injectables and Implantables Conference, organized in Philadelphia, April 18-19, 2017. http://www.controlledreleasesociety.org/meetings/Pages/gsk-crs-conf.aspx, a perfect example of academia-industry partnership, addressing a focused topic of interest for many CRS members.

I am looking forward to this and other partnership events in the future, contributing to solve global challenges and add membership value to our members. So, if you are interested in partnering with CRS in a special topic in the delivery S&T field, contact us and tell us about your idea. Contact: ahope@scisoc.org

Volunteers - The Backbone of CRS
Volunteers NeededVolunteers are the backbone of associations, sports clubs and music corps.
Without volunteers, many organizations would not be able to exist and offer products and benefits to their members. CRS is a member-driven and member-led society and, therefore, has a constant need for new volunteers with varying skills and interests. CRS has several committees and task forces with volunteer members contributing to the implementation of the initiatives in our strategic roadmap. The Board alone would not be able to do all the work required. In addition, CRS has volunteers who are contributing to a successful Annual Meeting, e.g., as moderators, abstract reviewers and session chairs. All of the 2016–2017 committees and task forces have started their work, with many volunteers in action. Thank you all for committing your time and expertise!
 
Why should CRS members volunteer?
Volunteering is any activity in which people contribute their time, skills and efforts to a cause they believe in, without expecting any compensation. However, what can volunteers themselves gain from participating an activity, in addition to their contribution to the Society? Volunteering contributes to personal development. In addition to intellectual skills (IQ), emotional skills (EQ) have increased in importance in professional life. Volunteering presents an opportunity to develop various emotional skills, e.g., social, active communication, interpersonal relations, multicultural, teamwork and leadership. Volunteering helps you to expand your network, make new friends and gain visibility. Young professionals also can add their volunteering activities to their CVs, which is always good for promotions and job opportunities.
 
I have personal experience as a long-time volunteer, both in a sports association and in CRS.
Cross-country skiing with CRS Past-President Diane Burgess
Cross-country skiing with CRS
Past-President Diane Burgess
I have worked as a volunteer in several positions – both in the Norwegian Ski Association on national and regional levels (Board member and chair of the Nordic Combined Committee and member of the Law and Prosecution Committee) and in CRS (eight years on the Board as a Board member, Secretary, Treasurer and now President). Volunteering has been personally rewarding for me. It has given me an international network of colleagues around the world with whom I enjoy interacting, catching up and talking about not just science, but also other things of personal interest. As an example, I enjoyed a fantastic week of cross-country skiing in Norway with Diane Burgess, CRS Past-President. Volunteering is fun and a chance to give back to the organizations that are important in my personal and professional lives.
 
Volunteering is an excellent personal development project and a way to contribute to our Society – Get involved!
 
If you are interested in contributing to CRS as a volunteer, contact us and tell us about your interests, skills and time. Contact: ahope@scisoc.org
Interfaces – breeding ground for life


Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, USA

Sitting at a lake, fjord, or hot spring and studying the surface layer of water or bacterial mats, makes me reflect on the wealth of life ongoing at interfaces in nature. Such interfaces are the origin of bacterial life, producing many active compounds, e.g., drugs and nutrients. Bioprospecting results in continuous new discoveries. Interfaces and the life they contain need to be used wisely while being protected from outside disturbances. An imbalance can kill parts of the interfacial environment and reduce the life within it.

Interfaces are of high interest and importance in delivery science as well. Interfaces protect the active on one side from the environment on the other side. They are tailor-made barriers that control permeation from one side to the other. There is a lot of life at the interfaces in a body. Cells, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates invade the surface of delivery systems and create communities of life that may be used for controlled and targeted delivery of actives. Interfaces also present challenges for delivery scientists, precisely because of the life found at interface. It makes the interface unpredictable, inhomogeneous, and variable, but also interesting for any creative and curious scientist.

CRS as an organization also has interfaces that can be sources of life—interfaces that we can nurture and leverage much more than we have done thus far. Members from different application areas - pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and beverages, etc., come together in this society. CRS is unique in having members from widely different industrial segments in one organization and thus can offer networking and sessions of interest at their interfaces. Examples include oral delivery of drugs and food additives, flavours, and nutrients and transdermal delivery of drugs and cosmetic additives and fragrances. Learning from each other by discussing and sharing experiences is possible at the interfaces in our organization. Scientists from one industrial segment may not find these interfaces in other market-specific organizations and conferences, e.g., AAPS, SCC, and IFT. CRS needs to exploit this diversity more and offer year-round opportunities for interactions amongst these different groups, by creating discussion fora and year-round member activities. Communities of Practice, replacing the focus groups, may be such an instrument, as well as other discussion fora, social media groups, etc. Another unique interface for CRS is that between our academic and industrial members. Few conferences and events have a mix from both the basic science community and the applied science and product-based community. This is another opportunity that we need to explore and utilize more in the future. I would like to challenge all members to tell us their ideas on how to exploit these interfaces more intensely in the future and through this create a more lively membership experience in CRS. Let our scientific and organizational interfaces be a breeding ground for life, use them wisely, and protect them.

From Seattle to Boston

Dear CRS members, This is my first post as CRS President. I plan to use this new blog as an informal communication tool to keep members up-to-date on Board activities, share some personal thoughts connected to delivery science and technology, and, most importantly, get your feedback and input throughout the year.

We have just finished a great CRS Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA, where over 1,200 delivery science professionals shared great science and connected through various networking activities. I certainly left Seattle with a lot of new energy and many memories from reconnecting with all my good CRS friends. We have already started gathering feedback through the survey and many one-on-one conversations, but if you have any comments, ideas, and/or changes you would like to see for our next meeting, please bring them forward. The 2017 CRS Annual Meeting Program Committee is already working very hard to put together an excellent meeting for Boston, MA, so now is the time to give your feedback and have an impact.

If you could not attend all the presentations you would have liked in Seattle, don’t worry! You will get the chance to view most of them (if allowed by the presenter), as webcasts on the website. They will be posted on our website over the next few months, joining the many presentations from past CRS meetings that can be found in the same location.

Speaking of the website, there is a lot of great delivery science and technology available to you on our website! However, it can sometimes be difficult to find. With this in mind, the Board has decided to improve and reorganize the website in the coming year to make it more user-friendly and interactive. In the future it should be easier for you to find not only meeting presentations, but all the information of interest to you. As we start the process of revising the website, input from all members on what content you would like to see on the website is welcome.

During the Annual Meeting in Seattle, the Board finalised its work on revising our strategic plan. The following four strategic directions are the core of our strategy:

  1. Science: Advance scientific innovation and interchange in the field of delivery science.
  2. People: Build a responsive, relevant, and strong global community.
  3. Products: Deliver high-value products and services (conferences, journals, white papers, webinars).
  4. Structure: Create a governance structure that is inclusive, efficient, and agile.

For each direction, the Board has chosen a few focus areas for 2016–2017, and I am really looking forward to implementing these new ideas during my presidential year. You can find the strategic plan and focus areas for 2016–2017 here.


Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park, MT
After the Seattle meeting, I was lucky to have time for a vacation and to experience many of the beautiful places of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. I hope all of you have had some personal time off to recharge your batteries with a lot of new energy. Hopefully, with that new energy you’ll have some creative ideas and insights on the Annual Meeting, the website, and/or CRS’s overall strategy. Please feel free to send comments/feedback to my blog or e-mail me (ruth.b.schmid@sintef.no) or our CEO, Amy Hope, at headquarters (ahope@scisoc.org). Remember CRS is an organization that is built to serve you our members – so let us know what we can do for you!



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