Science graduates looking to get ahead in industry should apply for places on the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES), according to an independent review.
Research carried out for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) found that almost half of participants in the scheme went on to work in industry, compared with less than 10% of non-participants in the review.
The Biotechnology YES programme is a yearly business plan competition which aims to raise student awareness of the commercial opportunities available for their skills.
Students and researchers are encouraged to improve their entrepreneurial skills in order to introduce their knowledge to a wider area of society, while honing their competitive edge through the programme. This can also improve their future earning potential.
The scheme is run in partnership by the BBSRC, the University of Nottingham and the Institute of Enterprise and Innovation and is entering its fifteenth year.
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said, ‘The UK leads the world in many aspects of the biosciences and it’s crucial we can translate discoveries into benefits for people’s wellbeing and innovations which equip UK businesses to compete in the global marketplace.’
Biotechnology YES attracted over 100 teams in 2010, with heats being held this autumn before the final rounds and head-to-head competition in December.
‘We actually couldn’t think of a better way to equip our postgraduate scientists with top entrepreneurial skills. The access to experts from the industry and very high quality training the participants receive made this an obvious addition to our researcher development programme,’ said Professor Barry Hirst, Newcastle Dean of Postgraduate Studies.
‘The success of quite a number of Newcastle bioscience graduates is in no small part down to their participation in Biotechnology YES,’ he added.
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