IVVN Annual Report 2021

As was the case for 2020, Covid-19 has largely dominated this year for us all. But 2021 has also been characterised by efforts to overcome the challenges of the pandemic in new ways.

After the disappointment of being unable to host our conference last year, much of our work this year has centred around our online events programme. Since September last year, we have hosted five scientific webinars delivered by leading scientists, four half-day symposia covering host-specific vaccine development efforts, an International Women’s Day webinar co-hosted with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), an online workshop as part of an IVVN-funded pump-priming project, and initiated a series of seven online courses for early career researchers. And while none of these online events come close to the pleasure of welcoming our members to in-person conferences and workshops, we have enjoyed seeing our community come together and engage in these new activities.

In August, we launched a new report, jointly published with the British Society for Immunology, calling for urgent strategic investment in veterinary vaccinology. As we developed the report, it was a pleasure to reflect on the impact research and development of veterinary vaccines has had both in the UK and globally. You can read about the report and the motivation behind it on page 20 of the report.

With some restrictions easing this year, we have also been able to resume our African Schools Outreach Programme (ASOP). The ASOP team have held workshops in Kenya and Nigeria this year, and it has been a joy to see the success of the programme after months of being unable to host activities. Since our last annual report, the ASOP team have also been shortlisted for the 2020 Nature Research science outreach award. This is a true testament to the community-driven success of the programme – congratulations to the whole team!

Also this year, work began on the first six projects funded through our Fellowship programme, jointly funded with our partners at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). We held a meeting of all the Fellows earlier this year, and we will be eagerly following their progress as the projects continue.

We are continuing our work on new initiatives that we hope will benefit you as members. Work is continuing on establishing a new database of veterinary vaccinology information. We hope that this resource will integrate a wealth of diverse data to support our members, including listing pathogen-specific expertise, making it easier to find out about current research activities, and also listing information on industrial and academic partners.

We are also working to improve our members directory. All IVVN members have a profile on our directory. This profile is where you can tell other members and visitors who you are, what you’re working on and where, and what your expertise is within veterinary vaccinology. To make the directory work for everyone, we need your help. Please ensure that your profile is up to date, contains all the required information, and contains a picture.

As ever, if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the Network, then please get in touch with the IVVN team at IVVN [at] roslin [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk.

Stay safe and stay well

Tim, Bryan, Carly, Mabon and Anne