Frontiers Retreat
Brussels, October 2023

Dear colleagues,

The fourth edition of the ESACT Frontiers Retreat is going to take place from the 18th to 21st of October 2023 in Brussels.

These meetings are dedicated to early career scientists working in the cell culture technology and related fields. We aim to continue engaging the next generation of ESACT scientists and to encourage those who have not attended previous ESACT meetings to actively participate in this community.

Frontiers retreats are not classical meetings: they are built on sessions and tools to provide participants career and personal development skills, to stimulate their creative thinking emerging from interaction with peers and to promote active networking among the participants. They also aim to stimulate scientific discussions and help to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

The Scientific Sessions are an amazing opportunity for the participants to present their work. Most of the oral presentations slots are saved for young researchers who will be selected from high-quality submitted abstracts. We have prizes for best oral presentation and best poster presentation.

The Career and Personal Development Sessions will help you to develop personal skills and extend your professional network. Few things are as important for a young scientist as good soft skills and a great network: take this opportunity to improve or start building yours!

This meeting is open to the entire community, including NON-ESACT members.

So save the dates: 18th – 21st of October 2023.

Looking forward to meeting you in Brussels!

Coming soon !

Abstract Submission

Although abstract submission is not mandatory to attend the meeting, we encourage you to submit an abstract on original work to be presented as oral communication or poster panel. Note that having an accepted abstract will be a selection criterion in the case of registration limitations. It is also a criterion for applying to meeting bursaries. Since this meeting is especially dedicated to early career young scientists, we will also ask you to provide the following information:

  1. Academic qualifications
  2. Current position
  3. Affiliation

Note that there are no specific age/position restrictions but in the case of registration limitations, priority will be given to students (Master/ Ph.D.) or young professionals with less than 7 years after completing their last degree. Also, in case of registration limitation, priority will be given to submissions from delegates who have not previously attended a Frontiers Retreat. The Abstract Submission form is available below. Submissions will be accepted until June 30th 2023. Successfully submitted abstracts will be acknowledged with an electronic receipt. Abstract acceptance will be notified as soon as possible in late August/early September 2023.

Abstract preparation guidelines:

  • Abstracts must be submitted in English (.doc(x) files)
  • Maximum abstract length is 500 words
  • Abstracts should include relevant and detailed information about the work to be presented, divided into the following sections: i) background and novelty; ii) experimental approach; iii) results and discussion.
  • Use our file template to write your abstract and name the file with your name and category code (i.e.: Surname_Forename_CODE) Click here to download our abstract file template.
  • Codes for Category:
    • VVV tag for “Vaccines and viral vectors”
    • CLDE tag for Cell line development and engineering”
    • PDO tag for “Process development and optimization”
    • NMA tag for “New methods and analytics in cell culture”
    • CTDD tag for “Cells for toxicology and drug screening”
    • SCRM tag for “Stem cells & regenerative medicine”
    • DAM tag for “Digitalization and Modeling”
  • Note: If your abstract matches with different categories, please include them all in the file name of your abstract (i.e.: Surname_Forename_CODE1_CODE2) and select the main one from the drop-down menu in the submission form.

Abstracts will be selected by a Scientific Committee according to their quality and will be proposed for oral or poster presentations in the different scientific sessions. Abstracts containing limited detail will not be accepted.

    Contact Information

    Professional Information


    Abstract Upload (.doc format / 500 words)

    Are you a member of ESACT?

    Would you like to subscribe to the ESACT Newsletter?

    Can we use your contact details to inform you about the status of your abstract submission and send information related to the Frontiers Retreat and other Frontiers activities?

    The 4th ESACT Frontiers Retreat will take place from 18th to 21st October 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. Conference and accommodation will be at the same place for you to make the most of your time to enjoy the sessions, the workshops and to network with your peers.

    Hotel Bedford

    135-137 Rue du Midi

    B-1000 Brussels

    Registration with / without abstract

    Early Registration – 300 euros: August 1st  to September 29th 2023
    Late Registration – 350 euros: October 1st to October 11th 2023

    The registration fee includes participation in the meeting and social activities as well as hotel accommodation for the nights of  18th, 19th, and 20th of October 2023 in shared room. A single room upgrade will add an additional fee of 150 euros.

      Contact Information

      Registration Details

      Gala Dinner Preferences

      Accomodation Information

      All details regarding accommodation reservations will be announced soon.

      For the time being, please indicate below if you accept the included shared double room with the regular registration fee, and specify with whom you want to share a room. Note that upgrading to a single room will have an extra cost of 50 EUR. If the roommate field is not specified, the organization will randomly assign you a same-gender roommate.

      For any additional queries, please contact us at

      NOTE: When submitting the registration form - you aren't redirected to any new page, the form just goes empty again - that's normal, your registration has gone through and you will receive a confirmation e-mail.

      Organizing Committee:

      • Bernhard Sissolak, Bilfinger Life Science (Vienna, Austria)
      • Claire Pearce, Xap Therapeutics (Cambridge, UK)
      • Nuša Pristovšek, Novo Nordisk A/S (Måløv, Denmark)
      • Hirra Hussain, CPI (Leeds, UK)
      • Nikolas Zeh, Boehringer Ingelheim (Biberach, Germany)
      • Alexander Nikolay, Miltenyi Biotech (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany)
      • Valentine Chevallier, UCB Pharma (Braine l’alleud, Belgium)

      We know meeting fees can be a limitation for students and young researchers. Thus, ESACT Frontiers defined a reduced fee covering registration, hotel accommodation, and main meals during our meeting.

      If this is still too much for you, contact us. The European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT) strives to encourage and facilitate the participation of students and young researchers in all ESACT-related meetings and events by sponsoring conference bursaries.

      Eligibility criteria

      • Abstract submission is not mandatory but highly encouraged. Applicants with an abstract submission will be prioritized over the others.
      • Applicant must be a Ph.D./Master’s student (proof of affiliation will be required) or an early career Post-Doctoral researcher/Industrial Scientist/Engineer. If over-subscribed priority will be given to scientists/engineers in the first 7 years of research following completion of the degree (copy of diploma/certificate will be required).
      • A letter from your supervisor is requested to support the need for a traveling bursary.
      • If an abstract was submitted, the work presented in the paper will be judged by the Scientific Committee (on the basis of the abstract submitted) and must be of high quality.
      • Limited bursaries will be awarded. In case of more applications fulfilling the basic criteria, the Scientific Committee reserves the right to rank according to the scientific quality and relevance of the work to Animal Cell Technology field.
      • Bursary applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Application deadline : 30th June 2023

      Application process

      The applicant have to send an email to with the following documentation :

      • A proof of affiliation
      • A letter from your supervisor
      • Details on the travel for which a bursary is requested ( departure, extra hotel nights required ..)

      Previous Frontiers Retreats

      • 1st ESACT Frontiers Retreat took place in Lyon from the 20th to 22nd October 2016

      Check out the video –> 1st ESACT Frontiers Retreat Lyon

      • 2nd ESACT Frontiers Retreat was held in Zagreb from the 17th to the 19th of October 2018.
      • 3rd ESACT Frontiers Retreat was held in Vienna from the 26th to the 29th of October 2022.