AAO and ASCRS Launch “Ophthovation” Joint Venture Business Innovation Conferences

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Two of the world’s largest ophthalmic organizations have finalized their joint venture “Ophthovation” to develop business conferences that accelerate innovation in ophthalmology. Called the Ophthovation Conference, the meeting will be held every year prior to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). Gil Kliman, MD, an ophthalmologist and Managing Partner of InterWest Partners, a leading venture capital firm, will serve as Program Director.

The inaugural 2020 Ophthovation Conference I debuts Thursday, May 14 prior to the ASCRS annual meeting at the Sheraton Boston in Boston, and will be chaired by ASCRS leadership ophthalmologists Eric Donnenfeld, MD, Ed Holland, MD, and Tom Samuelson, MD. Ophthovation Conference II will be held on Thursday, November 12 before AAO 2020 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The meetings are designed for all innovation stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and ophthalmologists.

More information on Ophthovation is available at www.ophthovation.com.

“Ophthovation is truly a novel opportunity to cultivate and accelerate a variety of ophthalmic businesses leveraging the vast resources of AAO and ASCRS,” Dr. Kliman said in a news release. “Using new formats and enhanced networking opportunities, it will bring together large and small companies, institutional investors, and entrepreneurial ophthalmologists and researchers. This unique cross-pollination of innovative talent, clinical acumen, and financial expertise will expedite delivery of new treatments to patients around the world.”

Previously, Dr. Kliman co-founded the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS), an ophthalmology business conference that he co-chaired from 2009 to 2018. As a leader of InterWest’s Life Sciences investment team, Dr. Kliman invests in a broad array of healthcare opportunities, with a special interest in ophthalmology, robotics, and digital health.

“This is the first time that these two medical societies have come together on a partnership such as this,” David W. Parke II, MD, CEO, American Academy of Ophthalmology, said in the news release. “The addition of Dr. Kliman to this partnership is invaluable. His deep experience in accelerating the growth and success of companies focused on new therapies for eye disorders will make the Ophthovation Conference a tremendous success.”

“Having both societies join forces to speed innovation should create a unique and impactful community,” said Steve Speares, Executive Director, ASCRS. “With the proven leadership of our Program Director and Co-Chairmen, we hope to set a new standard for advancement of new technologies, with diverse perspectives and objectivity.”


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