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Welcome by the Local Organizing Committee

On behalf of the local organizing committee, it is a great pleasure to invite you to 15th ICRS World Congress to be held in Vancouver, Canada from the 5th of October to the 8th of October of 2019. You can count on the Scientific Program Committee to deliver first rate program on the state of the art, and the future, of cartilage repair and management of early arthritis. You can also count on a memorable visit to Vancouver. There is nowhere else that combines such superb super natural beauty and a multi-cultural cosmopolitan city experience so well. Always among the top 2 or 3 most livable city in the world, it has also been consistently rated as the top North American destination for international meetings. Whether your interests are in experiencing world class dining, professional sports or shopping, there are lots to entertain in the city. Of course the provincial slogan, “Spectacular by Nature” reflects one of the special appeals of the region. Vancouverites are passionate about nature and outdoor activities, both on the sea and in the nearby mountains. You can be hiking in old growth forests or fishing for salmon within 20 minutes of downtown. Your visit can also be enhanced with pre or post meeting excursions through the Rocky Mountains, as far as Banff or to Victoria on Vancouver Island. You can take a cruise up the coastal waterways as far north as the glaciers or visit the world-renowned ski resort Whistler, only 90 minutes from the hotel. We have no doubt that you will enjoy your visit to Vancouver as part of the 15th ICRS World Congress and we look forward to hosting you.  Bob McCormack, Mark Hurtig, Congress Co-Chairs 2019

Welcome by the President

It is with great pleasure and also great honour that I welcome you all to the 16th ICRS World Congress here in Vancouver, The New York Times describes this place thus…“Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It is a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling.” – The New York Times.

It is my privileged to serve as the ICRS President during this period. Many of you may know the name of the society changed in 2018 to the International Cartilage Repair and Joint Preservation Society as it was felt the old name no longer reflected the scope of the Society. This change also reflects the fact the Society is in continual evolution which allows it to grow and change to include clinicians and basic scientists all working towards common goals.  The World meeting gives us all the chance to meet with our colleagues from all over the world to exchange insights, updates and possible new techniques in the arena of cartilage repair and joint preservation. And this meeting is no different. The program is a rich mix of clinical and basic science which will appeal to, not only our current members, but also to those who have not yet joined the Society.

The Scientific Committee, namely Alan Getgood and Lucienne Vonk and their Team have put together a thrilling programme for us all to enjoy and to learn from. Of course the social aspect has not been forgotten and apart from the social events within the congress Vancouver is an excellent place for various sports and cultural activities, in other words something for everyone! So, you have no excuse to not to join us in the wonderful city of Vancouver at what will be, in my opinion, the best World Congress ever. Alberto Gobbi, ICRS President 2018 – 2019

Welcome by the Scientific Programme Committee

We look forward to welcoming you to Vancouver, Canada in October 2019 for the 15th ICRS World Congress. As program Chairs we have the honor of being the first to incorporate the new focus of the society – that of Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation. To that end, we aim to bring together the three traditional pillars of ICRS – clinicians, scientists and industry partners – to illustrate what we can do collectively, to address the growing need towards addressing joint dysfunction and disability. Musculoskeletal disease is a growing problem and represents a significant burden on society worldwide. The concept of joint preservation not only suggests joint tissue repair, but also improvements in patient function and wellbeing, a subject that we hope to showcase throughout the program.

A consistent theme through the meeting will be that of the ‘Next Generation’. This will include the next generation of joint repair technologies, of investigative techniques, and importantly, of researchers. Our interest in the future of the ICRS has been highlighted by our previous development of the ICRS NextGen group – recognizing and promoting the next generation of cartilage physicians and scientists, who ultimately will lead the ICRS into the future. As such, you will see many mid-career researchers and surgeons share their experiences and latest work, guided by the sage wisdom of our mentors throughout the congress program.

We are excited to be partnering with the Arthroscopy Association of Canada (AAC) to deliver the opening session on Stem Cell Tourism. This continues to be a hot topic where we will tackle the many issues that face our patients when searching for the ‘Holy Grail’ of joint regeneration. To that end, we will also include a plenary session on Stem Cell treatments – science, no hype – with leading international researchers providing facts about this evolving field. We have reduced the number of concurrent sessions being held to give us more opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge within multidisciplinary sessions. The ever-popular ‘mini battles’ will also be back, with speakers challenging concepts that many continue to hold sacred. Guaranteed not to disappoint!

Early morning technical sessions will enable attendees to interact with experts in many areas including clinical trial development, arthroscopic cartilage repair techniques, diversity within our field and much more. Free paper sessions will showcase new science and important areas where we may see the future of joint preservation treatment.

All of this will be mixed with an entertaining social program that will highlight Canadian West Coast hospitality. With the congress coming to beautiful Vancouver, we anticipate an extremely busy congress, which we are confident will provide an incredible insight into the new world of Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation. See you there! Lucienne Vonk & Al Getgood, Co-Chairs of the Scientific Programme Committee 2019