The Future and the Past Come Together
The tenth annual Neurotech Leaders Forum, to be held in San Francisco September 23-24, 2010, will give attendees an opportunity to look back on what has happened in the neurotechnology industry over the last decade. It will also offer a glimpse at the future of our industry, as we discuss new technologies, new startups, and new relationships among today’s vendors.
Perhaps it is appropriate that our two keynote addresses at the conference will be devoted to the future and the past. Reese Terry, cofounder of Cyberonics and one of the true pioneers of our industry, will share some of his observations from the early years of neurotechnology on September 24. Elliot Krames, former president of the International Neuromodulation Society and former editor of the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, will give a keynote on the future of neuromodulation on September 23. This editor will also give an overview of the last 10 years of the neurotechnology industry before the keynote address.
At the risk of preempting my own presentation, let me say that the opportunity to have edited this newsletter over the last 10 years and reported on so many new ventures and technology directions has been a rewarding experience. And it’s given me a valuable vantage point for placing industry developments in perspective. I’m eager to share with attendees my view of some of the key successes—and the glaring failures—during my tenure at this publication. On the morning of the second day of the conference, I’ll offer some opinions on the greatest growth opportunities in the years ahead.
While our industry has certainly seen better days, suffering as we are from a weak overall economy and the curse of several well publicized clinical trial failures, there have been other low points in the past. Anyone who has witnessed the demise of promising startups like Northstar Neuroscience, Cyberkinetics, and Leptos Biomedical and disappointing clinical trial results from Enteromedics, CVRx, and others certainly has reason to doubt the continued viability of our industry. But for entrepreneurs who can hold out through these tough times and come though with proven results for new technology that meets an unmet clinical need, we believe the rewards will be there. Sometimes all it takes is one good outing for a slumping team to turn the tide from a losing streak and regain the confidence of fans and supporters.
We hope to meet with as many readers of this publication as we possibly can during our tenth annual conference. And we hope that those of you who come will be prepared to offer your own views and observations of the neurotechnology industry’s past progress and hope for the future.
Editor and Publisher