In January of this year, myself and the Executive Committee and Chief Editors spent a busy and productive day in London establishing the future of the Society.

We looked at the activity of the Society from a number of different perspectives and came up with a solid set of aims, working principles, objectives and actions.

Our global aims are important, high-level and ambitious. For example, we aim to ensure that applied microbiology is a distinct and recognized field of scientific expertise with a high profile amongst all stakeholders. We aim to ensure scientists working in applied microbiology are trained to become excellent scientists and have the resources, facilities and legislative environment to flourish. And of course we aim for applied microbiology to remain a global activity unhindered by geographical, political, social and economic constraints.

As an organization, we aim to be the premier network for applied microbiologists in the UK and internationally. We also create best-in-class networking across disciplines, and support early career researchers through our Early Career Scientists Committee.

But with these ambitions, what we don’t want to lose is our friendly, broad, inclusive, open and generous culture. We think it’s our approachable and friendly ethos that makes us unique among similar organizations and is one of our important strengths.

Many of you will be familiar with our Vision, Mission and Values, but for those who need a reminder, they are:

Vision: SfAM envisages a future where applied microbiology research and development is strong in the UK and beyond, and the applications of microbiology contribute significantly to all global challenges facing humanity, including infectious diseases; the changing environment; sustainability of energy, food, water and land resources; and economic growth.

Mission: SfAM will achieve its vision by being the voice of microbiology and advancing, for the benefit of the public, the science of microbiology in its application to the environment, human and animal health, agriculture and industry. It will work in partnership with sister organizations and microbiological bodies to ensure that microbiology and microbiologists contribute to evidence-based policymaking within the UK, in Europe and worldwide. SfAM will build on a strong history of microbiology in the UK and will move forward in step with the next generation of microbiologists.

Values: SfAM is “The Friendly Society” and will always offer value for money. We are modern, innovative and progressive; we value integrity, honesty and respect; and we seek to promote excellence and professionalism, and to inspire the next generation of microbiologists.

The overarching message of our strategy is about support and promotion: support of applied microbiologists globally and at all stages of your career, and promotion of the importance of applied microbiology in solving global grand challenges.

A large part of our strategy is built around engagement. A membership organization is virtually meaningless without its Members, so engaging with you is a big priority for us. Having a strategic framework to underpin our work means that all our stakeholders, Members, Trustees and staff have a clear direction. So as the detail of our strategy is established, you’ll hear more detail, and we want to engage with you to help shape that direction.