Preparing Bio-Entrepreneurs: A Case Study

Preparing Bio-Entrepreneurs: A Case Study

Sandesh Kamath B., Gireesh Babu K.
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2845-8.ch013
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The Indian life science industry broadly comprises manufacturers and service providers. The manpower for both these sectors has to come through the institutes of higher education, mainly the universities. In order to create newer jobs, encouraging start-up enterprises is very much essential. The present day university life science education prepares graduates to work in a pre-set and defined industrial or academic set up. Planned and informed guidance, mentoring, and hand-holding are required for graduate students to inculcate the passion for an enterprise. During their coursework, igniting a flame of entrepreneurship, motivating them to become their own boss and creating conducive environment to establish a business could significantly contribute to the socio-economic growth of a society. The well-coordinated efforts of industry heads, university professors, corporate associations, and governmental departments could bring about radical and far-reaching changes in setting-up industries by fresh bio-graduates. This case study throws light on how the existing system can modify its course work to achieve this goal and how an industry-academia-government alliance can play a significant role towards this initiative on entrepreneurship.
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As an interdisciplinary subject, biotechnology or applied biology has wide applications in healthcare, agriculture, industrial and environmental domains. In India, these domains heavily rely on university system of education to cater to its manpower needs. The present syllabus based graduation and post-graduation focuses on making a person technically informed and learned. Theory and practical sessions running hundreds of hours end up with score or grade-based evaluation system.

After completion of post-graduation, students generally pursue their career in one of the three areas. Firstly, research leading to doctorate degree, secondly, manufacturing industry and thirdly, marketing biotech products and services. Very small percentage opts for PG degree like Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in universities. After Ph.D., commonly, the career continues in one of the two paths, either as a post-doctoral fellow or with a position in industry or academic/ research institute. We chose to take up biotech research, completed Ph.D., then the quite unusual path of self-employment and choose to set up a biotech enterprise. Here we discuss few issues on bio-entrepreneurship and how the present bio-education system, both at post graduate and doctorate level, can facilitate starting up of newer firms.

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