I would like to welcome all attendees to the 2019 ERS International Congress, and to our wonderful host city of Madrid.
We are proud of the high-quality scientific and educational experience that ERS Congress delivers. As an attendee of this year's event you can expect an excellent programme presenting cutting-edge science in all fields of respiratory medicine, as well as state-of-the-art educational programmes, specialised and practical courses, and a strong focus on daily practice.
The main theme for this year's annual Congress is prevention. Within this theme, there are three main topic areas that the event will focus on. These are: smoking cessation, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products; air pollution, such as the effects of air pollution on lung health and childhood lung disease prevention; and vaccination, with infectious diseases being a key driver of exacerbation for many chronic lung diseases.
ERS Congress 2019 will also examine the new and exciting areas of scientific research across all lung diseases, and the results and outcomes that this research has provided, as well as presenting new educational tools and resources. In addition, working in collaboration with other organisations worldwide in the areas of science, education and advocacy has helped to positively influence the programme and make sure there is something for everyone.
As the ERS President, I believe that one of the key benefits of Congress is that it offers an excellent platform for communication and collaboration. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet peers, colleagues and experts and discuss your own projects directly, enabling you to bring forward new ideas to a forum with fellow scientists, clinicians and healthcare professionals from all over the world.
An important element is creating the possibility for the time and space to network, communicate and share knowledge and experiences from our own scientific and educational projects. ERS Congress is a great occasion for bringing people together, and I find that the common spirit of the event to be a very exciting prospect.
ERS is a scientific society with a global view and a political mindset that is essential in continuing to raise the profile of respiratory medicine together with our partner societies worldwide. Collaboration is vital to our work and I would like to thank everyone for their involvement with ERS and in contributing to our aim of alleviating suffering from lung disease and driving standards for respiratory medicine globally.