Maastricht Convention Bureau


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Maastricht Hosts 21st ESCRS Winter Meeting

The European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) has convened its Winter Meeting in The Netherlands for the first time in its history.

While The Hague and Amsterdam had previously hosted the annual ESCRS Congress, Maastricht had the honour of being the first Dutch city to host the Winter Meeting. The event, which took place from 10-12 February, was attended by close to 1,000 delegates.

“The Netherlands is a country with a particularly important place in cataract and implant surgery, as without the pioneering work of Cornelius Binkhorst, intraocular lens implants may never have got off the ground,” said ESCRS president David Spalton.

Prof Spalton said the ESCRS was very pleased to join colleagues from the Netherlands Intra Ocular Implant Club and the Belgian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons for the important event.

The annual Cornea Day was organised in conjunction with EuCornea and Prof Spalton thanked EuCornea for their continued participation in the meeting.

The scientific programme included an extended didactic programme, with courses in basic optics, cataract, refractive surgery and cornea. The Young Ophthalmologists Programme was very well attended and the YO Committee also organised an interesting symposium on the topic ‘The Usual Suspects: How to Handle Your First Complications’.

A live surgery session, organised by Prof Rudy Nuijts and his colleagues at the Maastricht University Medical Centre, was a major highlight of the meeting. There was also a symposium on ‘Contributions of the Low Countries to Ophthalmology’, organised by the Netherlands Intra Ocular Implant Club and the Belgian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.

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Plastic surgeon Tom van Mulken of Maastricht UMC+ attracts innovative conference about robotic (micro) surgery to Maastricht

On March 3rd and 4th a leading conference about robotic (micro) surgery will be held in Maastricht. “It is not often that such an innovative, international conference is hosted in Maastricht,” says co-organizer Tom van Mulken, plastic surgeon at the Maastricht UMC+.


The conference on robotic (micro) surgery is of great importance. Van Mulken explains why: “At the moment, robotic (micro) surgery is relatively unknown and small, but this way of surgery will become very big in a very short time. Professionals from all over the world who are leading in this sub discipline (expected approximately 100), come to Maastricht to share their experiences and to discuss new techniques. The conference is multidisciplinary. Urologistst, orthopedists, plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons etcetera will look at microsurgery together. And last but not least: the Japanese prof. Isao Koshima, founder of the microsurgery, will discuss his views on the past and the future of microsurgery during the RAMSES conference.”



Tom van Mulken
Van Mulken, next to plastic also reconstructive and handsurgeaon at Maastricht University Medical Center+ (Maastricht UMC+) and Zuyderland Medical Center Sittard, gained national (he was a guest at the daily tv show De Wereld Draait Door) and international fame because of the joined robot project of Maastricht UMC+ and the TU/e (Technical University Eindhoven). That is also the reason why he was approached to organize the conference. Because he works and lives in Maastricht, he knows what the region has to offer conferences like no one else. Facilities, social programme and knowledge networks. It is therefore not a big surprise that he, together with the Maastricht Convention Bureau, managed to get the RAMSES conference to come to Maastricht.


For more information on RAMSES have a look at

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The Executive Board of the European Federation of Biotechnology has selected Maastricht as the host city for their flagship congress from 28 June – 1 July, 2020. The European Congress on Biotechnology is the longest established congress in biotechnology and attracts 1,000+ delegates from academia and industry. The scientific programme covers the spectrum of biotechnologies, reflecting the EFB’s mission to promote the safe, sustainable and ethical use of biological systems for the benefit of mankind.

Jeff Cole, Vice President, EFB and Chair of the Congress Organising Committee, announced the win for Maastricht, saying ‘Following a competitive process, we are delighted to confirm Maastricht as our host destination for ECB 2020. We were particularly impressed with the Local Organising Committee members from the Dutch Biotechnology Society who have committed their time and connections to ensure we have an outstanding scientific programme and the essential support of industry. The strength of Maastricht as a biotechnology hub will undoubtedly be an attraction for our delegates’.

Caroline Windsor, TFI Group – professional conference organiser for the EFB – added ‘Maastricht is a superb location for ECB 2020. The MECC lends itself to our congress requirements including integrated space for exhibition, posters and catering as well as multiple auditoria for concurrent sessions. The city is compact with a good choice of hotels and social programme venues for networking out of conference hours’.

The bid was led by Jurgen Moors, Managing Director, Maastricht Convention Bureau and Jordy Rijksen, Business Development Manager, Maastricht MECC. They reacted to the news by saying ‘On behalf of the city of Maastricht and the Maastricht Convention Bureau we can state we are pleased to hear that Maastricht has officially been selected as destination for the 2020 edition of the ECB. This underlines that everything our city has to offer, the proactive local congress community and the fact that the Maastricht Region is internally recognised as a main European hub in the field of biotechnology were main decisive criteria for the Executive Board of the European Federation of Biotechnology.’

The scientific ambassadors for the bid, Prof. Aldrik Velders, Chair of the BioNanoTechnology Group at Wageningen University, and Dr Emile van de Sandt, Director Research & Development of DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, added ‘The Dutch Society of Biotechnology is very pleased to host the ECB2020. With our strong academic and industrial network we are looking forward to organising an inspiring conference that will bring together scientists from all over Europe that are active in the more established as well as emerging fields of Biotechnology.’

The biennial European Congress on Biotechnology circulates to cities that are centres of excellence in biotechnology. The ECB2018 congress will be in Geneva from 1 – 4 July 2018: for more information, see
Release dated 14 February 2017