panel discussion

#ResearchWales20: Our first digital conference reaches largest ever audience

Almost 500 delegates attended our first ever online conference on 7 October - making it our biggest and best yet!

Attendees to the conference - Making a difference: the impact of health and care research - enjoyed a packed itinerary that explored themes of research culture and capacity, policy practice, and more.

Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, opened the conference, and commended the hard work of the health and care research community, especially under difficult circumstances:

“Research has never been so important to drive the change we need to see – we need to be better at sharing good practice however and new ideas across settings from primary to secondary care.

“Health and Care Research Wales funds a large workforce, many of whom are frontline and play a vital role in delivering research, offering new treatments and evaluating services. I am proud of the dedication and commitment shown by my NHS colleagues in the COVID-19 research endeavour.”

Between plenary sessions, delegates were welcome to watch over 60 different presentations from across the UK that showcased amazing health and care research. Also available, were 15 virtual exhibition stands to visit, created by our research community. Voting was held throughout the day for the best presentation and virtual exhibition.

In the week prior to the conference, five exciting and practical workshops were also held online for delegates. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss and debate lessons learned from COVID-19, the future directions of health services research in Wales, agenda setting for public health issues and more.

The winners of the two prizes for the best presentation and virtual exhibition stand were named at the end of the day. Also announced, was the winner of this year’s Public Involvement Achievement Award. All entries for this award were judged by a panel, and you can see all the shortlisted entries presented in videos on our conference website.

Congratulations to:

Delegates took to the event forum for their usual tea break discussions, and engagement on Twitter was higher than ever:

“The virtual conference by @ResearchWales has offered a great insight into the current landscape of research in Wales” - @CarwhynBridges

“#ResearchWales20… has been a surreal experience but one that shows the absolute dedication of @ResearchWales to never let anything get in the way of a successful and engaging annual conference much less a global pandemic!” - @kai1091

Also launched on the day were two new reports – one showcasing Health and Care Research Wales’ impact on patients’ treatment and care in Wales, and another showing the economic impact and value generated through health research, using data from KPMG.

Don't worry if you missed any of the action - you can find all the plenaries, workshops and presentations from the day on our conference website. You can also catch up on Twitter by searching #ResearchWales20.