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Results

The main expected result of the project is the development of an innovative multinational Master's programme in biotechnology

The main result of the Biotech-Ma project is the development of an innovative European Master programme in biotechnology, implemented with the collaboration of the industrial professional sector.

However, many other important results have been achieved during project implementation, in support of the final goal:

 

Draft curriculum

The first phase of the project focused on collecting information on the existing 2nd cycle biotechnology programmes run at the Consortium universities. As the data needed to be comparable, a common template was developed and filled out by all the partners. Based on the data collected, an initial proposal of the new international curriculum was prepared. The draft curriculum was then presented to the academic/administrative offices of the partner universities, for a first feasibility evaluation, in terms of compliance with the local institutional and national rules. Meanwhile, the non-academic partners of the Biotech-Ma Consortium provided initial comments on the proposed structure, from an external and stakeholders’ point of view.

 

Survey

In parallel with the curriculum development, a Survey was prepared and submitted to a large number of non-academic stakeholders, mostly small, medium and large biotech companies. The purpose was to better understand what competences and professional profiles are requested today by biotech employers and, at the same time, what skills tend to be missing in new graduates. Once the survey was completed, the draft curriculum was reviewed and adjusted on the basis of the valuable information collected from the industrial stakeholders. This process was meant to ensure that the final version of the joint curriculum produced within the project would actually reflect the current needs of the biotech business world and that students would be provided with an updated academic offer, in line with the market changes. The final joint Master Programme will be officially presented at the end of the project, during the final international conference.

 

Final joint curriculum

Taking into account the results of the Survey, the suggestions of the non-academic Consortium partners and the regulations in place at the universities involved, the project Consortium prepared the final version of the joint Mater Programme in biotechnology: Innovation and Business in Health Biotechnology (IBiHB).

- A complete study programme, during which the students will have the possibility to learn at once traditional scientific competences and managerial/entrepreneurial skills;

- A multinational experience, thanks to the network of European universities and industrial partners behind the Master, which will allow students to study and do internships abroad;

- An innovative experience, which offers an integrated Summer School on bio-business, for a direct exchange of ideas with professional lecturers from the biotech industrial world.

 

Summer Schools

Two 5-day Summer Schools were organised during the project. The first one was held at the University of Aberdeen in August 2015 and it involved 34 students and 14 lecturers from the partner universities and from the industrial sector. The second was hosted by the Bologna Business School in July 2016, it was attended by 29 students and 14 lecturers, including university teachers and representatives of biotech companies. Both activities represented an excellent opportunity to test on the field and on a smaller scale the efficacy of a multidisciplinary international course which combines the scientific, regulatory and ethical aspects that must be considered when developing biotechnological products. The students who were involved in the summer schools had the chance to:

1)  explore for the first time career options outside of Academia;

2)  exchange opinions and contacts with biotech companies that represent their potential future employers and that shared with them a realistic and reliable picture of today’s job opportunities in the biotech field;

3)  participate in group activities with international colleagues, thus building a network of useful connections;

4)  learn several bio-business concepts that are not part of their normal study path, including an overview of the biotech/pharma industry, management of technological innovation, business models and business plans, intellectual property protection and exploitation, career planning, and so on.

 

Further outcomes of the project include:

  • The creation and the consolidation of a European network of universities, industries and students;
  • The participation of the project end-users, i.e. the students, in international events that will favour knowledge and cultural exchanges;
  • The embedded learning and the professional growth of the university staff working on the project, who will have the rare opportunity to collaborate with industrial partners in the definition of a new curriculum;
  • The development of a new working methodology that will possibly be adopted by other European and international universities willing to modernise and improve their educational offer.

 

The Intellectual Outputs and other Results of the project are available at the Erasmus+ Dissemination Platform at the following link:

Erasmus+ Dissemination Platform