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Abu Dhabi Hosts Second International Pharma Logistics Masterclass


120 industry experts, academics and policy makers from 21 countries converge on UAE’s capital to Address Key Pharma Logistics and Supply Chain Challenges

Abu Dhabi, 5 September 2022 - The second edition of the International Pharma Logistics Masterclass is taking place at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi this week, where 120 participants will gather for a five-day intensive programme of presentations, debates and practical workshops focused on key challenges for pharma logistics and pharma supply chains.

This year’s edition is a unique international joint initiative organized by the HOPE Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the University of Antwerp and Pharma.Aero. With the full support and active contribution of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the collaboration brings together industry professionals, policy makers, international experts and academics representing 50 pharma supply and manufacturing companies, 5 world-renowned universities and government authorities from the United Arab Emirates and Belgium.

The collaboration builds on Abu Dhabi’s growth as a global healthcare and life sciences hub, and the success of the HOPE Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led public private partnership that is helping lead the global effort against the COVID-19 pandemic, in delivering over 260 million vaccine doses to over 60 nations around the world.

Given that Western Europe is ranked as the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturing market, the collaboration between the partners is timely as it seeks to leverage the capabilities of both Belgium and Abu Dhabi in order to establish a global ‘origin to distribution corridor’ that serves the world’s future life science needs.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “With the ongoing support of the UAE’s wise directives, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi along with its prestigious partners have been able to reiterate the emirates position as a leading destination for healthcare, life sciences and innovation. Through the establishment of the HOPE Consortium, we have been able to resolve some of the most prominent challenges related to vaccines distribution and logistics. We are proud to have contributed to the safety and wellbeing of the global community through this unique pharma air corridor that was designed in line with international standards and best practices.”

“We are glad to host the second edition of the International Pharma Logistics Masterclass and welcome a big group of experts and pharma gurus here in Abu Dhabi. Our role as the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi includes facilitating similar events that make room for knowledge and experience sharing – a crucial element to the advancement of healthcare, and any other sector.” Dr. Al Kaabi concluded.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chairman of the Executive Committee, HOPE Consortium, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said: “Collaboration and knowledge-sharing have proven to be essential assets in the HOPE Consortium partnership’s successful global vaccine distribution and immunization campaign, which has positively impacted millions of lives. By bringing together thought leaders and experts from across the industry as part of this year’s International Pharma Logistics Masterclass, we will be able to assess and address the next generation of life science supply chain challenges. With the support and guidance of our wise leadership, AD Ports Group has developed one of the largest cold and ultra-cold pharmaceutical supply chains on the market today, and we are eager to share the best practices we have learned with our peers in the pharmaceutical and logistics sectors, and further develop our respective academic and commercial ties.”

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “As a top-ranked university with world class academic and research expertise not only in logistics, but also in all the allied economic sectors, Khalifa University is delighted to collaborate with local and international partners to host the second edition of the International Pharma Logistics Masterclass. We firmly believe this august gathering of experts, academics and policy-makers benefits the wider global community while highlighting the dynamic role the UAE plays in major international initiatives, and Khalifa University’s emphasis on contributing to showcasing Abu Dhabi’s profile as an important destination that attracts industry leaders, researchers and government sector stakeholders.”

Prof. Roel Gevaers, University of Antwerp, Chairman of the 2022 International Pharma Logistics Masterclass’s Steering Committee, said: “I am excited and honored as Chair that we kicked off, for the second time, the Pharma Logistics Masterclass, as a result of the first very successful edition last year in Antwerp.

I am convinced that this second edition will be as successful and fruitful as the first edition, thanks to the support of the founding fathers of the masterclass: Pharma.Aero and the University of Antwerp, complemented with the HOPE Consortium and Khalifa University for this second Edition in Abu Dhabi.

Also, a special word of appreciation for the Belgian Ambassador and his team, for offering the formal welcome reception in the Belgian Residence in Abu Dhabi.”

Trevor Caswell, Chairman of Pharma.Aero, Manager Demand & Product Development (Cargo), Edmonton International Airport: “Our international 5-day Pharma Logistics Masterclass with over 120 confirmed attendees, brings leading academics and seasoned industry professionals from over 20 countries together in one location in Abu Dhabi, to share in-depth knowledge of the critical end-to-end pharma supply chain.

There is no other neutral organization like Pharma.Aero, that brings shippers and end-to-end supply chain partners together, in order to collaborate, share ideas, challenges and opportunities, ultimately strengthen our global pharma supply chains. This Masterclass will not only create extreme value to those attending in-person & virtually, but for the industry as a whole. The goal of each Masterclass is to continue to build on the high caliber topics and projects that will be presented, in order to bring value to our members as this has become an annual event for Pharma.Aero and the University of Antwerp.”

Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero, Co-chair of the 2022 International Pharma Logistics Masterclass’s Steering Committee said: “Collaboration, sharing knowledge and experience are deeply rooted in the DNA of our vision and mission at Pharma.Aero. Without this, one often remains on the surface which magnifies the many challenges and problems and moreover, delays the solutions.

The masterclass is all about leaving the comfort zone which will open the door to highly innovative and efficient solutions. The idea behind the masterclass of 3 years ago, has materialized to a successful formula. At Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, and with the HOPE Consortium, we pave the road for better pharma logistics, and thus better healthcare. Success is not a coincidence, it is learning, sacrifice and love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

The International Pharma Logistics Masterclass is built on an innovative concept that combines academic insights with industry expertise around sustainability, disruptive technologies, big data, agility, innovation, digitalisation, multimodality, and emergency logistics.

The interactive curriculum is complemented by visits to some of the most relevant sites that showcase Abu Dhabi’s position as a world-class pharma logistics and life sciences hub, including Abu Dhabi International Airport, AD Ports Logistics’ Headquarters, Etihad Cargo Pharmaceutical Center, Masdar City, world’s first zero carbon city, Khalifa University’s Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KU-CARS), and the Centre of Genomics and System Biology.

The International Pharma Logistics Masterclass welcome reception takes place on 5 September, and is hosted by the Embassy of Belgium in the United Arab Emirates at the Residence of the Ambassador, H.E. Antoine DELCOURT.

Abu Dhabi is home to renowned healthcare providers such as Cleveland Clinic, Imperial College London, Mayo Clinic and Moorefields Eye Hospital. Moreover, the emirate has been working closely with key players in the biopharmaceutical industry including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Roche, Novartis, GSK, MSD and Johnson and Johnson among others to boost local and global capabilities related to research and innovation in life science, digital health and supply chain – strengthening its position as a leading destination in healthcare and life sciences.

Positioning itself as a life science hub, Abu Dhabi demonstrated an outstanding response and achieved remarkable milestones since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE’s capital set an exemplary model in providing the highest quality of care to patients in the Emirate and topped global rankings which reinforced its position as a leading destination for advanced healthcare and an incubator for innovation in the healthcare sector, both regionally and internationally.

About HOPE Consortium
The HOPE Consortium is an Abu Dhabi-based public-private partnership offering a unique end-to-end supply chain solution capable of delivering large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines, from production to those in need, anywhere in the world, safely, transparently and efficiently.

The HOPE Consortium has pooled the collective expertise of its partners to provide multi-faceted logistics services to handle transport, demand planning, sourcing, training, and digital technology infrastructure, to facilitate vaccine availability across the world.

Comprising of leading Abu Dhabi entities, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Etihad Cargo, Rafed, SkyCell, and Maqta Gateway, as well as a wide body of global logistics players, the HOPE Consortium has developed capacity to transport, store, and distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses per annum.

The HOPE Consortium’s founding partners consist of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Etihad Cargo, AD Ports Group, Maqta Gateway, Rafed, and SkyCell.

About Khalifa University of Science and Technology
Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the UAE’s top-ranked research-intensive institution, focuses on developing world leaders and critical thinkers in science, engineering and medicine. The world-class university endeavors to be a catalyst to the growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s rapidly developing knowledge economy as an education destination of choice and a global leader among widely acknowledged international universities.

For more information, please visit:

About University of Antwerp
The University of Antwerp is a young, dynamic and forward-thinking university. It integrates the assets of its historical roots with its ambition to contribute positively to society. The University of Antwerp develops, provides access to and disseminates scientific knowledge through research, teaching and academic service to the community and accomplishes these tasks in a spirit of academic freedom and responsibility.
For more information, please visit:

About Pharma.Aero
Pharma.Aero is a leading international cross-industry collaboration platform for LifeScience and MedTech shippers, IATA CEIV certified cargo communities, airport operators and other air cargo industry stakeholders. Jointly with our members, we ideate and develop projects that focus on end-to-end supply chain visibility and address air transportation issues and challenges faced by the Life Science and MedTech industry.

Since its foundation, in 2016, Pharma.Aero expanded rapidly its network to 47 members, associates, and partners, and it is now present on 6 continents. Over the years, Pharma.Aero completed 9 projects, thus giving its members access to valuable insights, ideas, and solutions.

In 2022, Pharma.Aero is breaking new grounds by simultaneously conducting 4 projects that address innovative and futuristic challenges of transporting Life Science and Medtech products.

For more information on projects and membership, visit us at or email us at

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