World's top microbiologists meet at MECC Maastricht

The sixth congress of European microbiologists, FEMS 2015, has opened at MECC Maastricht in the Netherlands.

MECC Maastricht
MECC Maastricht

Organised by the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) the five-day event will feature symposia and workshops led by prominent international scientists, concluding on Thursday (11 June).

Held every two years, the congress provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and new research across the global microbiology community. For scientists in the early stages of their career, there are special sessions on setting up a spin-off business, education and professional development.

It is estimated delegates will spend a combined £1.9m (€2.6m) in Maastricht and the surrounding region over the duration of the event.

Jean-Claude Piffaretti, president of FEMS, said: "Microbiology has a strong connection to the Netherlands, the Dutchman Antoni van Leeuwenhoek first creating lenses powerful enough to view microbes in 1673. So with FEMS celebrating its 40th birthday last year, and the 2015 congress being hosted by the Dutch and Belgian societies, The Netherlands’ cosmopolitan city of Maastricht at the border of the two countries seemed like the obvious location."

John Aarts, alderman of economy of the Municipality of Maastricht, commented: "We are proud to welcome this international prestigious congress in our city. Once again, it shows MECC Maastricht is a perfect accommodation for this kind of high-quality medical congresses. The fact that the world’s top microbiologists will be staying in our city is not only good for the revenues of hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés and retail, but also fits the ambitions of Maastricht as an international university city."

FEMS is a federation of 52 member societies from 36 European countries, linking around 30,000 microbiologists from Europe and beyond. In addition to the congress, it publishes five journals and provides funding for regional microbiology congresses, technical workshops and niche meetings.

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