The final DEDIPAC symposium took place on 11-12 October 2016. Almost 200 researchers, policy-makers and other interested parties gathered in the Universitätsclub in Bonn, Germany. Thematic Area leaders presented an overview of their Thematic Areas, followed by parallel sessions focused on the work of the early-career scientists and some of the highlights of the last three years. In the evening, everybody boarded the ‘Rheinprinzessin’ for an informal dinner and an entertaining keynote by prof. Annie Anderson. The second day was focused on the future of DEDIPAC, with parallel sessions discussing possible avenues. Overall, this final symposium was a great success.