2nd CRG BioBusiness School
2nd CRG BioBusiness School
Based on the great success of the first edition, the 2nd CRG Bio-Business School shall:
- Raise awareness about technology transfer among the participants through lectures and hands-on practical sessions;
- Teach the challenges, opportunities and tools to successfully transfer basic knowledge "from the lab to the market";
- Identify projects with technology transfer/business potential that could otherwise remain undisclosed;
- Match basic science in biomedicine, bioinformatics, etc. with business;
- Have participants function as "signal amplifiers", able to spread the knowledge acquired amongst other colleagues, and apply it to new projects;
- Stimulate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The course is organized to train researchers in technology transfer and related areas (entrepreneurship, patents, and bio-business). This is in line with two of the main goals of the CRG: train the next generation of scientists, and translate new scientific knowledge into benefits for health and value for society. At the same time, it tackles the lack of consciousness and proper education of researchers in technology transfer and related issues. Programme
The school will be composed of several modules combining lectures and workshops, motivating the participants through hands-on and real-life examples. Each lecture will provide an introduction to a key aspect of technology transfer and the most relevant tools in relation to it, while the workshops will focus on stimulating the entrepreneurship competences and skills of participants to apply the newly acquired knowledge to their own projects or ideas, in order to make them into products. The business concept will be identified on the first module/day, and consequently developed in teams during the 5-days course, towards an initial marketable project.
- Introduction to Technology Transfer and Overview Bio-Business School
- Idea and potential identification and evaluation
- Workshop on identifying potentials in own research activities
Chair: Pablo Cironi
Keynote Lecture: Teresa Tarragó
Lecturers: Carla Snoeck & Jan Demolder
A flavor of what can be expected in the course will be given by a successful biotech entrepreneur (Teresa Tarragó) through a talk on her business story and experience, dos and don'ts and the outcome of it all… After this, the course will commence, and experts will provide an overview on academic technology transfer, with a focus on how to identify an invention, the invention disclosure, and how to assess its technological and commercial potential.
Researchers focus on their ongoing research and potential new research ideas in a quest to understand through science, build their curriculum, and publish their results in scientific journals. However, they rarely screen their work for valuable opportunities and transfer their research results towards the market. As a result, potential inventions remain unnoticed, and are left unexploited. In this module, experts will provide an overview on how to identify an invention and assess its potential, introducing the concepts of invention disclosure and technology assessment.
In addition, biotech and pharma sectors will be presented. The module aims at sensitizing researchers to evaluate the potential of their research results, and provides the participants with tools to decide whether a research result could be an invention.
- Intellectual Property (IP) protection
- Software protection and licensing issues with a focus towards commercialization
- Workshop on "How to use patent databases?" based on project developed on day 1
Lecturers: Carla Snoeck, Jan Demolder & Malcom Bain
Inventions need to be protected, and there are different ways to do so. Especially in life sciences, the most important option is patenting. This second module therefore provides an overview on different types of intellectual property (IP) protection, focusing on patents in the life sciences sector and tools available to search for patents and perform initial white space and freedom-to-operate analyses. To date, researchers rarely use this valuable source of knowledge, which often results in inefficient "double inventions".
In addition, this second module will include a separate section on software. Software use and development is part of the everyday life of a research institute like the CRG. Although software is barely protected through patents, there are ways to protect it and licensing issues that affect it and that can have a strong impact on its eventual commercialization.
- The decision making step
- Workshop on "How to apply the decision making step" using examples developed on day 1+2
- Workshop From theory to practice: negotiating a term sheet + brainstorming on licensing around course cases
Lecturers: Curtis H. Keith, Karine Clauwaert
From a public research institution's perspective, the common way to exploit a patent is to transfer it to an external partner that further develops and commercializes it, such as an established company or an own-created spin-off, in exchange of economic return. Experts will impart knowledge on how to strategically select the right option and strategy: does (e.g. a patent) have the potential to become the basis for a spin-off or shall it rather be licensed or sold to an external partners? Afterwards, experts will provide a closer look on their licensing activities and share their experiences in the life science field.
This third module aims at making researchers aware of the different routes an invention can take towards the market, and showing them their potential roles in this process.
- How to start up – Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences
- Workshop on business model generation
- Funding opportunities
Lecturers: Curtis H. Keith, Karine Clauwaert
Stemming from the decision-making step, this fourth module introduces the spin-off pathway on how to exploit e.g. a patent. Experts will give a brief introduction to the business model concept and on how to write a business plan. This workshop allows the participants to create a business model for their own invention and to develop a draft of their potential business plan.
In addition, this module will also give an overview of potential funding sources (public and private) that allow for the development and commercialization of an invention. Furthermore, the concept of life science incubators and accelerators will be introduced, as well as different types of entrepreneurial support and consulting mechanisms.
- Presentation of workshop results – Facing reality
The last day will start with a quick overview of the course and a review of key learnings, followed by a round table discussion between national and international experts from academia, private foundations, industry and venture capital, that will share their models, experiences, and emerging trends in funding of early stage opportunities. In the following session, course participants are given a unique opportunity to present and pitch their proposals to the experts for their feedback and assessment. The best business project proposal will be selected and will be entitled to a prize. Course attendance certificates will also be delivered to participants. The CRG Technology and Business Development Office will follow projects from CRG researchers, in order to consider them for valorisation or other actions.
NETWORKING AND SOCIAL EVENT
Organized on the first day, the networking event will give the participants the opportunity to socialize and tighten links amongst the recently established team members, as well as with the course lecturers and organizers. By creating a relaxed and productive working atmosphere, the event aims at promoting the intercultural as well as scientific and business exchange amongst attendants.