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Plant Scientists to Train in Entrepreneurial Skills for Food Security

Plant Scientists to Train in Entrepreneurial Skills for Food Security

Plant Scientists to Train in Entrepreneurial Skills for Food Security

Plant Scientists to Train in Entrepreneurial Skills for Food Security

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The Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) - a business plan competition for early career researchers - has announced a brand new workshop for plant, microbial and environmental scientists entering the scheme.

These researchers will acquire the necessary skills to develop research in a commercial setting such that their science can be translated into products, processes and policies that will help avoid a future food security crisis and improve sustainability in the context of a changing environment.

The workshop will be run at Syngenta's Jealott's Hill International Research Centre near Bracknell and is a partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Syngenta.

Applications close on 27 May 2011 and the workshop will be held in October.

Dr Celia Caulcott, Director of Innovation and Skills, BBSRC said "This is the first time ever that a Biotechnology YES workshop has been held on a commercial campus that has a specific research theme. It is a unique opportunity for BBSRC- funded early career researchers in plant sciences to develop their commercial awareness, improve their industrial collaborations, and better understand how their research might make an impact.

"For researchers to ensure that their work contributes to securing our global food supply in the future, it is absolutely vital that they are able to seek, recognize and seize opportunities for commercial application. This workshop will support people at the earliest stage of their careers by developing their awareness and skills in marketing, finance, intellectual property and much more."

Dr Mike Bushell, Principal Scientific Advisor, Syngenta said "Partnerships between academic researchers and Syngenta's research and development staff are extremely important to us. Working with academic researchers who understand what it takes to bring an idea from the pre-commercial stage into development of a new product is really invaluable and so we are absolutely delighted to be supporting this workshop.

"We are also well aware that researchers who have undertaken an academic PhD are also equipped with complementary skills that can be a great advantage in an industrial environment and so we hope that some of the Biotechnology YES participants might consider a career in industry in the future - perhaps even here at Syngenta!"

Professor John Peberdy MBE, Emeritus Professor of Enterprise, UNIEI said "The involvement of Syngenta in the programme for 2011 marks an important development in the evolution of Biotechnology YES and we look forward to a more significant input of plant, microbial and environmental biotechnology in the business ideas that come forward. We hope that this initiative will promote similar interest and participation by companies in other areas of Biotechnology.

"Biotechnology YES was, and continues to be, a pioneering programme focussed on giving PhD students and early stage researchers, from all areas of the biosciences, an awareness of commercialization processes and business relevant skills. In the fifteen years of its existence almost 3,000 young research bioscientists have taken part in the Scheme. For many it has provided the focus for their career planning and development. In the latter years, significantly more than half the participants have looked to industry and business for their career."