Although embryo implantation is essential for human survival, it remains an enigmatic biological phenomenon. Following fertilization, the resulting blastocyst must signal its presence to the mother, attach to the luminal epithelium of the endometrium and embed into the decidualising stroma. Failure to do so results in infertility, which affects around 9% of women. Subsequent placental development requires remodelling of maternal blood vessels by trophoblast cells from the placenta, that invade deep into the decidua. Failure in these very early stages can compromise fetal development, resulting in diseases of pregnancy such as intrauterine growth restriction or pre-eclampsia which can also impact on health in adulthood. Abnormal implantation therefore constitutes a significant disease burden in humans. Although we have known for many years that successful implantation requires an embryo that is competent to implant and an endometrium that is receptive, the molecular basis of these processes remains poorly understood. Our inability to identify implantation-competent embryos or to diagnose/treat the non-receptive endometrium therefore limits our ability to intervene through assisted reproduction techniques. This Implantation Symposium aims to review recent exciting developments in our understanding of the biology of early implantation and to highlight the rapid progress being made to translate these into improved diagnosis and treatment.