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17/06/2024 Leipziger Messe

Sweden hosts the I.S.P.O. 20th World Congress

For the first time in a decade, the World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) returns to Europe. From 16 to 19 June 2025, Stockholm will become the global hub for professionals involved in the support of persons in need of prosthetics, orthotics, wheelchairs, assistive devices, rehabilitation engineering and related subjects. Under the theme "Science in Practice, Practice in Science: Collaboration and innovation towards sustainable rehabilitation", the programme will offer various formats to foster and highlight interdisciplinary cooperation. The accompanying exhibition attracts companies from around the world, including numerous market leaders and young innovative companies, to showcase their products and services.

The I.S.P.O. World Congress, held biennially at different locations worldwide, provides a unique platform for the international P&O community to exchange knowledge and pursue further education. After a virtual edition in 2021 and an event in Mexico in 2023, the 20th World Congress will take place in the beautiful and sustainable city of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

In 2025, the event will be hosted by the national ISPO member associations from Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. This cooperation is visually represented in the logo, which creatively unites the flags of the four countries with a lighthouse, symbolising the maritime connection.

"The 20th World Congress in Stockholm is designed to examine the link between theory and practice in prosthetics and orthotics. We aim to initiate conversations about established practices in order to push ahead with sustainable rehabilitation", says David Constantine, ISPO President. The theme "Science in Practice, Practice in Science: Collaboration and innovation towards sustainable rehabilitation" aligns with ISPO’s core mission to connect science and practice in prosthetics and orthotics and forms the basis for the Scientific Programme Committee’s itinerary. The committee comprises of renowned international experts. In various formats such as keynotes, symposia, free paper sessions and practical exhibitor workshops, the spotlight will be on interdisciplinary cooperation in the treatment and care of people with limited mobility.

New to the 2025 congress are the "Technical Track" and a "3-Minute Thesis student competition". "The new programme formats mean we can place a stronger emphasis on practical topics for everyday use and offer valuable continuing professional development opportunities for young professionals who are learning the trade", notes ISPO President David Constantine. He adds that, “participants can look forward to an event that focuses on innovation and cooperation as well as highlighting the latest developments in orthopaedic treatment and care. Moreover, it takes place during one of the most beautiful times of the year, when daylight lasts almost endlessly, and everyone celebrates the light and warmth. The atmosphere of the midsummer nights will ensure the World Congress in Stockholm is an unforgettable experience.” Around 4,000 participants from all over the world are expected to attend the I.S.P.O. 20th World Congress.

Keynote speeches on scientific and practical topics

The following keynote speakers have confirmed their attendance at the I.S.P.O. World Congress:

Han Houdijk is a professor of Clinical Movement Science at the University Medical Center and at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The main focus of his research is to understand and restore walking ability of various patient populations with a strong emphasis on the use of assistive technology. Han Houdijk is an active member and a past president of ISPO Netherlands and initiator of the newly founded Academic Workplace for Prosthetic Use (ProtheseAcademie).

Chapal Khasnabis is a trained prosthetist and orthotist. While working at the WHO from 2003 until early 2023, he developed guidelines, standards and tools for trainings in prosthetics and orthotics. In 2013, he developed a worldwide programme entitled “Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology” (GATE). Now, he is working as a senior advisor for the Asian Development Bank to promote the assistive technology industry in Asia and beyond.

Silvestro Micera is currently a professor of bioelectronics at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA, Pisa, Italy) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland), where he holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational NeuroEngineering. His research interests include the development of neuroprostheses based on the use of implantable neural interfaces with the central and peripheral nervous systems to restore sensory and motor functions in people with disabilities.

Paula Rushton is an associate professor and director at the School of Occupational Therapy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Her research focuses on assessment, intervention, knowledge, and education related to improving the wheeled mobility. From educational perspective, she has been working with the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP) to raise the profile of wheelchairs as a topic on the curriculum of university courses for healthcare professionals worldwide.

IC2A Inspirational Lecture

As part of the Opening Ceremony, the International Confederation of Amputee Associations (IC2A) Inspirational Lecture will be held once again. This year the chosen speaker is Christoffer Lindhe. Christoffer Lindhe is a triple amputee, a former Paralympian swimmer and the founder of his own prosthetic company Lindhe Xtend, based in his home country of Sweden. At the age of 17, he lost both his legs as well as his left arm in a train accident. However, focusing on competitive swimming gave him something to work for. By engaging with the amputee community, he found a real purpose in life. After gaining a master's degree in product development engineering, he decided to start his own company making user-friendly prosthetics and founded the AmpisLiv Association in Sweden, which is a member of the international umbrella organisation IC2A, where he also became a board member. In the IC2A Inspirational Lecture, he will tell his inspirational life story and share his vision of user-friendly prostheses.

The honourable Knud Jansen Lecture will also be held at the Opening Ceremony. It will be delivered by an eminent person selected by the Executive Board, who has made significant contributions by servicing ISPO, or the field of prosthetics and orthotics by keeping with the vision and aims of ISPO. The speaker will be announced in the coming months.

Call for papers

ISPO invites contributions to the World Congress programme at www.ispo-congress.com/cfp. Submission of proposals for symposia and instructional courses as well as technical track presentations is open until 7 October 2024. Free paper and poster abstracts can be submitted until 11 November 2024.

Global industry exhibition

Companies from all over the world will come to Stockholm to present the entire spectrum of products and services at the international exhibition. From prosthetics and orthotics to wheelchair care and additive manufacturing methods, the industry exhibition offers a current overview of the global market for mobility products. The anticipation is already high: Even though it is still one year before the congress, exhibitors from more than 15 countries have already registered. In total, 150 exhibitors are expected to showcase their products in the international exhibition.

With ISPO’s President David Constantine being a wheelchair user himself, there will be a special focus on mobility of all kinds, not only in the congress programme but also in the interdisciplinary exhibition.

There are many factors that speak for participating. We recommend companies to register for the exhibition by 1 December via www.ispo-congress.com/exhibit

More information: www.ispo-congress.com and www.ispoint.org


Nicole Wege
Press Spokesperson
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