Bioneering: Teaching biotechnology entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level

Chris Collet, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

Postgraduate courses provide the most common pathway for development of entrepreneurial skills in science and engineering graduates. In contrast, the QUT educational model operates at the undergraduate level and aims to produce graduates who can comfortably operate in the gulf between laboratory bench and the marketplace. Students undertake “hard science” subjects and business subjects on entrepreneurship, innovation, and market development. Synthesis of these disparate disciplines is driven through the formation of student virtual companies that serve to contextualize subject content and provide start-up company experience across the four-year course. This framework allows innovation and enterprising behavior to be embedded in the fabric of the degree. Graduates of high quality have moved into positions associated with research commercialization and technology transfer where previously a PhD and MBA were the required qualifications.

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