On behalf of the new executive board members of ASPIRE, I would like to express our most sincere thanks to our outgoing secretary general Prof PC Wong, also a founder member of ASPIRE, for ceaselessly steering the society ever since it was established 14 years ago. We are also indebted to our past Presidents Prof Bruno Lunenfeld, Prof. Shin Yong Moon, Prof. Yoshiharu Morimoto, Prof. Robert Norman, Prof. Jaideep Malhotra, Prof. Chii-Ruey Tzeng and Prof Budi Wiweko for all their efforts in bringing about continuing growth of ASPIRE.
The last two years have been a most unusual and challenging time in the history of ASPIRE because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We had to cancel, at the last minute, our planned annual congress in Manila, Philippines in 2020 and reschedule it a year later as a virtual congress from 30 April 2021 to 9 May 2021. However, I am most pleased to say that our first virtual congress has been a great success, registered by over 7700 participants from 116 countries and attended by 3215 participants from 95 countries, thanks to the tremendous hard work of the organizing committee chaired by Prof Chii-Ruey Tzeng. We do plan to hold our next congress in a virtual format in 2022, more information will be announced.
Whilst it is encouraging to know that our membership has steadily increased over the years, ASPIRE would like to reach out further to ART practitioners, including doctors, embryologists, scientists, nurses, counsellors, students, and other professionals in Asia Pacific region. In this way, it is hoped that we can foster a greater degree of co-operation and promote exchange of ideas within our region.
Meanwhile, we will continue to work with other established international societies such as ESHRE and ASRM, arrange exchange sessions with these societies in our respective annual congresses to share new knowledge and experience and learn from each other.
We have successfully presented several educational webinars over the last 6 months, thanks to the efforts of the education committee chaired by Dr Clare Boothroyd and various SIGs chairs and co-chairs. We do plan to continue to work with various national societies in our region to organize webinars on contemporary and controversial topics.
I am proud that we now have our own journal, Fertility & Reproduction, a tribute to the tremendous dedication of Prof Gab Kovacs, editor-in-chief and his team of editors and secretarial staff of the ASPIRE office. I would like to appeal to you all to show your support by submitting original research papers or reviews to our journal.
Finally, I can say that the ASPIRE board remains committed to fostering a stronger and closer fraternity for our members and we do look forward to your continuing support.
Professor Tin-Chiu Li