Copenhagen is fertile ground for reproductive conference

Copenhagen’s strong life sciences sector has proved to be fertile ground for researchers in reproduction, with the city winning the 36th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, ESHRE.

The event, taking place 5-8 July 2020 at the Bella Center, is expected to attract some 10,000 international experts on infertility and reproduction.

Copenhagen’s very strong research cluster environment within fertility has been recognised as a major factor in the win, with support for the bid coming from Danish-Swedish life science cluster Medicon Valley.

Petter Hartman, Medicon Valley Alliance CEO, says: “Capital Region, Region Zealand and Region Skåne have for years worked to develop and market the Danish-Swedish Medicon Valley region as one of the world’s leading clusters in research and development of new groundbreaking fertility treatments. In continuation of the effort, it is scientifically important to place the ESHRE conference in Copenhagen in 2020, and in more than one sense, it will contribute to bringing more life to the city.”

Fertility treatment has been a (literal) growth market for Denmark, with 2013 figures showing the Danish fertility industry had sales of approximately 1.1 billion DKK and rising, as the global market for hormone treatments, laboratory equipment, test tubes and donor sperm and eggs was expected to more than double by 2020.

Denmark is home to two of the world’s largest sperm banks, Cryos and European Sperm Bank, as well as fertility labs Origio and Fertilitech. Pharmaceutical group Ferring, which is among the world’s leaders in hormones for fertility treatment, has research facilities there.

In 2015, the EU invested 57.5 million DKK in ReproUnion, a project aimed at creating an world-leading research cluster for the treatment of infertility in the Danish-Swedish Øresund region. A similar amount of funding came from the region, universities and Ferring.

Hosting ESHRE has been of great priority to the Greater Copenhagen Region. It brings attention to a highly specialised field of research and offers an opportunity for sharing knowledge with world-leading experts, as well as showcasing Nordic biotech and medico companies.

Lars Gaardhøj, Chairman of the committee for business and science in the Capital Region, notes: “Infertility is a serious challenge for many couples, just as it is for society in general. And it is an international challenge, not alone Danish. We are proud that our many years of support to the Danish-Swedish ReproUnion research partnership has now made its mark internationally and has elevated the greater Copenhagen area to be a natural choice for hosting this large and important congress.”

Kit Lykketoft, Director of Conventions, Wonderful Copenhagen, adds: “We’re both proud and excited to have been selected to host ESHRE and believe that Copenhagen, as a hub for knowledge and science, is a great fit to welcome this conference.”

(via Copenhagen Convention Bureau, ESHRE, FINANS)