Networking Events – ‘The Rare Disease Showcase’

Findacure run a number of networking events each year, with the aim of promoting collaboration between key stakeholders within the rare disease community. These key stakeholders include patient groups, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies, biotech industries, and charities, who we bring together in one room to share ideas and encourage research.

Event Format

Our showcase events come in two formats:

  • Networking evenings – These are networking gatherings, lasting a few hours and featuring a programme of lightning talks, food and refreshment with the aim of showcasing local rare disease projects.
  • Day-long events – A more recent initiative, our full-day showcase events combine a morning programme of talks followed by a conventional networking session.


Regardless of format, all events share a series of key features:

Informal setting – Our networking events aim to provide an informal setting for different members of the rare disease and biomedical communities to meet, talk, and forge new relationships.

Diverse audience – We host a diverse audience at all of our events, which truly represents the rare disease community. It is crucial that all stakeholders, including patients and patient groups, have a strong representation. This helps to break down barriers in patient-industry interaction and collaboration.

Talks to generate conversation – Networking can be a little daunting – long stretches of time with new faces and unstructured conversation are not always easy. To break the evening up, and provide vital talking points, Findacure intersperse networking sessions with 5 minute ‘lightning talks’. These short talks are proposed and delivered by delegates, usually on a specific theme, and give everyone a chance to share their work and ideas with the whole room. They have proved popular so far, and give the event a sense of purpose and pace.

Low price of attendance – With most costs covered by our sponsors, we aim to deliver low prices for the event, with all contributions raising funds for Findacure. We aim to provide the lowest price to patients and patient groups, with independent price points for academia and industry.

Future Networking Events

We will be running two Rare Disease Showcases in 2018. Tickets sales are now open for both events.

16th August 2018 – The Cambridge Rare Disease Showcase

10th October 2018 – The Glasgow Rare Disease Showcase

If you would like to get involved with either of these showcase events, become a corporate sponsor, or have suggestions for future destinations please contact our Events Officer Mary Rose at [email protected]

Past Networking Events

You can find out more information about our previous networking events, along with links to blogs, programmes, and talk videos below.

The Midlands Rare Disease Showcase

Our first Showcase event was held Saturday 22nd October, in collaboration with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The event took place at the Hospital itself, and was an opportunity to celebrate progress in the rare disease sector in the heart of England and featured a full programme of talks and networking session.

If you would like to learn more about the event you can find the event programme here. Our summary of the day and YouTube playlist of the event’s talks and lightning talks both provide a more detail insight into the event.

Collaborating for Cures

Our second networking event took place in May 2016 and saw over 40 delegates joining us in Cambridge. With lightning talks from Raremark, Abcam, Cambridge Rare Disease Network, the Gurdon Institute and Costello Medical, the event was a great success.

To find out more read our event blog, view the programme of talksor check out the evening’s lightning talks on our YouTube playlist.

Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases

Our first networking event took place in August 2015 and featured six lightning talks from delegates highlighting the work being done in drug repurposing and rare disease research today.

To find out more in our event blog, view the programme of talks, or check out the evening’s lightning talks on our YouTube playlist.