Meeting of BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Jobs

BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Jobs met in Wuppertal at the beginning of July. The agenda included a presentation of the concept by HAUS RISSEN HAMBURG on introducing the subject of “entrepreneurship” in schools.

HAUS RISSEN HAMBURG is an institute for civic education that was founded in 1954 with the aim of winning over the young to democracy and the social market economy. It is a member of the Association of German Educational Organisations. Jörn Aldag, a member of the working group, suggested and helped to develop a special module for the topic of biotechnology. The two-day programme has already been held in three schools in Hamburg and was supported by Evotec AG, Indivumed GmbH and BIO Deutschland respectively. As planned, it can now be booked by other companies and regions. HAUS RISSEN HAMBURG supports the search for suitable educational institutes, sponsors and funding programmes and conducts the programme in schools. Costs for carrying it out can be covered by the school, funding and companies that book it, among other sources.

In addition, the entrepreneurs’ team gave a report on its latest activities. The group first compiled its experiences and gathered the names of entrepreneurs who could be suitable as examples of individuals in communicating the corporate image to the public.

Representatives of the newly founded Working Group on Technology Transfer provided information about the group’s recent activities. The preparatory meeting took place as scheduled on 18 February. A meeting with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research was prepared and held, during which a study on the technology transfer situation in Germany was to be established. The planned working group was also announced in BIO Deutschland’s newsletter. The working group is planning to continue the series of technology transfer conferences that began in 2009. It is possible that a symposium on this issue could be held as part of the German Biotechnology Days 2011 in Munich.

Carsten Roller, Head of the Munich office of the VBIO – German Life Sciences Association, was a guest at the meeting. As the person responsible for the topic of training and careers, he reported on the work of the VBIO and the training situation in the field of biology. He pointed out that there are 1,320 different degree courses in biology in Germany and said that this was one of the reasons why the job description and the importance of biology were difficult to grasp, even at the school level. Roller sees a need for action in this context. He affirmed that the working group’s school initiative has a unique selling point due to its commercial approach and stressed his interest in cooperation between the two associations.

The working group’s next meeting will be held on 5 October during Biotechnica in Hanover. BIO Deutschland members are welcome to request a copy of the minutes of the working group’s meeting from the association’s office.

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