The Illumina Day in Kyiv was defintely a no. 1 event in the Ukrainian genomic community for the first half of 2018 at least. The goal was not only to increase the awareness about Illumina products and solutions but also help researchers and practitioners to fill gaps between basic and applied segments. We are fascinated that Ukrainian NGS community is developing around Illumina as the world's largest provider of NGS-relevant products. Most of visitors are still new to NGS, and now they can see that NGS doible, affordable and efficient. Not less important, people saw that Illumina is already here, in Ukraine, through its channel partner, IMG, ready to offer all kinds of support and help building NGS labs from ground zero. This has assured many potential customers that they won't be let alone with their instruments in case of trouble.
The main focus of the Illumina Day in Kyiv was genetic counceling (exome panels) and oncology (target panels). Yet people from many other areas, such as horticulture and agrigenomics, found a lot of useful information. And of course, reproductive geneticists and basic researchers - NGS pioneers in Ukraine - were very active in dicussions and seminars.
From Illumina side, there were presentations by:
Sr. Product Specialist Distributors EMEA
Illumina Germany GmbH.
Anton Tsiganov-Boudunov, Bioinformatics Implementation & Support Lead
Staff Bioinformatics Support Scientist
Illumina UK Ltd.
Holly Zheng Bradley
Staff Bioinformatics Scientist
Bioinformatics & Professional Services
illumina UK Ltd.
Scientific consultant for Illumina sequencing applications,
The second half of the plenary day was reserved for Illumina users delivering success stories. The keynote speaker was Rafal Ploski, Warsaw Medical University, whose expertise in whole exome sequencing for the diagnostics of rare undiagnosed genetic diseases is widely acclaimed.
On the second day, we held three seminars for a smaller group focusing on for library prep, lab set-up and bioinformatics. Participants had a chance to see the advantages of using BaseSpace for their data processing pipelines, got insight into the sequencing routine and ways of optimizing an NGS lab.
The event was definitely very efficient from the buisness perspective as well. At least five leads were created and the existing opportunities have got accelerated.
The overall feedback was very favorable and we dare to conclude that we accomplished our goals. People enjoyed not only the format but the location: UNIT center, an innovation park offering platform for all kinds of IT and biotech start-ups. Holding the Illuimina day at such "futuristic" young smarties-oriented place rather than a traditional academic institute proved to be the right choice.
Now IMG has guite a long list of new connections and proposals to sort out and is looking towards a larger expansion in the Ukrainian market.