Life Science Applications '98 was held in Gent, Belgium, in April 1998, and aimed to foster the transfer of knowledge and ideas on applications for biotechnology in fields such as healthcare, food, agriculture, and environment. LSA was set up as an international convention, where professionals involved in the biotechnology sector could meet and hold discussions, rather than as a conventional trade fair. The reaction of participants was very positive overall, with most seeing the various seminars as interesting, relevant and practical for their jobs. In total, some 620 people attended, and participated in 15 sessions covering different applications for biotechnology and related subjects such as finance. Flanders was chosen as the venue for the first LSA, as an initiative of three local companies. Although the region is home to a number of Europe's biotechnology companies, the head of one successful Flanders-based biotech company, Innogenetics, underlined the industry's intensive need for venture capital. The organizers plan to hold future LSA events in Europe, and are looking for organizations which support young biotechnology companies in other countries, similar to the Flemish Inter-university Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) which supported the first LSA.