When LABVOLUTION with BIOTECHNICA opens its doors to the public in May, the BIOTECHNICA Forum will be one of the big attractions for biotechnologists working in industry and science. Featuring a varied program that ranges from Big Data to plant biotechnology and new career opportunities, the BIOTECHNICA Forum runs for all three days of the show – from 16 to 18 May – and covers a broad spectrum of current topics and issues in the biotech world. The program has been put together in close partnership with organizations and industry associations working in the field of biotechnology and the life sciences.

The morning session on the first day of the BIOTECHNICA Forum is hosted by PhotonicNet, the innovations network for optical technologies in Lower Saxony, Germany. In a series of short presentations, various approaches and applications will be examined. Topics here include optogenetics and laser microtomy.

LSR Spotlight Forum: featured at the BIOTECHNICA Forum on all three days

Another key format forming part of the BIOTECHNICA Forum program is the Life Science Spotlight Forum, organized by the Life Science Research Group. The LSR Spotlight Forum hosts daily presentations from noon until 2 p.m., highlighting the innovative work now coming out of the life science industry. On 16 May the topic focuses on the latest developments in bioinformatics, followed by scientific insights into alternatives to animal experiments, made possible by 3D cell cultures or LuSens assays. In addition, representatives of CEGAT will be presenting new approaches aimed at enhancing our understanding of the ageing process at the molecular genetic level with a view to developing new therapies for age-related diseases. The LSR Spotlight Forum will close with a presentation on the contribution the life science industry is making to the global fight against infectious diseases.

Digitalization Forum hosted by BIO Deutschland

The afternoon of the first day of the show is all about Big Data and digitalization. The organizer of this part of the BIOTECHNICA Forum is BIO Deutschland. Dr. Martin Pöhlchen, managing director of Sinfonie Life Science Management GmbH and responsible for digitalization at BIO Deutschland, will be chairing the discussion throughout the event. Citing actual business case studies, contributors will explore a whole range of different issues, including current technical standards and hardware choices, the interfaces used to support communication, the benefits to be derived from the analysis of large quantities of heterogeneous data, and situations where paper print-outs are still a necessary part of the laboratory toolkit.

The first day will end with presentations by young scientists talking about their dissertations and research ideas.

Genome editing in animal and plant breeding

On Wednesday 17 May recent developments in plant biotechnology will be discussed at a session hosted by the scientific association Wissenschaftlerkreis Grüne Gentechnik e.V. The title of the symposium is: "Genome editing: new ways forward in animal and plant breeding". On the agenda here are innovative processes for the successful development and evolution of organisms. A variety of techniques will be brought together under the general heading of "genome editing": zinc finger nucleases, TALEN, CRISPR-Cas9 and oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (ODM). These methods are said to have great potential, both for revolutionizing the breeding of new plant strains and animal species, and for developing better therapies for diseases. The symposium organized by Wissenschaftlerkreis Grüne Gentechnik aims to give an overview of the type and application of such methods, and their possible uses in animal and plant breeding. Scientific experts will report on the current state of our knowledge in these areas, and provide an opportunity to discuss the many different aspects of genome editing.

Science Talk and Science Slam

In the afternoon, publisher Springer Nature from Heidelberg is hosting a variety-packed program. The actress and singer Insina Lüschen will be presenting two separate event sessions. In the first, Science Talk, authors who have contributed to the Experimentator series of books published by Springer Nature will talk about the latest trends, and share tips and tricks of the trade for laboratory professionals. This is followed by the Science Slam, when five scientists take to the stage and demonstrate their presentation skills. Whoever gives the most engaging brief talk on some aspect of biology or biotechnology will be adjudged the winner – and the audience decides. The Science Slam is jointly organized by Springer Nature and lab equipment specialists Eppendorf.

Getting your career on track: careers portals jobvector and academics

On the last day of the show, various careers partners offering further training opportunities in biotechnology and chemistry will provide information about career paths in the natural sciences. One such partner is jobvector . On the online careers portal jobvector.de, natural scientists and engineers can instantly find over 1,200 job vacancies posted by numerous employers ranging from SMEs to global players. But which is the right job for me? Which employer is a good fit with my personal profile – and what sectors are open to me? In what position can I really utilize and benefit from my strengths? And what is the right way to read a job ad? Ideas and prospects for a successful career path – these are what jobvector is bringing to LABVOLUTION with BIOTECHNICA.

Another key contributor to the careers session on the Thursday of the show is academics , a subsidiary of the ZEIT publishing house and the journal Forschung & Lehre. With its own stand at the show, academics will be presenting job offers and consultancy services. As well as answering individual questions about careers, academics will be offering a free checking service for job application portfolios on 18 May. The documents need to be submitted beforehand to bewerbungsmappencheck@academics.de. At the BIOTECHNICA Forum, academics will be giving a series of presentations on the best ways to go about planning one's career, tips for job applicants, and alternative career options for life scientists and natural scientists.