This issue of The Biochemist looks a little different and I hope it brings some alternative perspectives too. It covers stories and insights from a number of individuals who have experience in bio-enterprise, bringing business and biochemistry together. Their ideas, pathways and stories might inspire you to take up a career path in bio-business, work with industry or begin your own enterprise.
When I was studying for my undergraduate degree, I elected to take a bio-business module and within my PhD I opted to participate in business-related training (Biotechnology Yes). I found both of these experiences extremely valuable in building my skill set and although I still sit within academia I have certainly applied some of the principles within my work. Biology often sits closely with business; without that relationship there isn’t the opportunity to upscale or grow and if research is focused on an intervention with a global reach it often needs the backing of business to achieve its goals (just look at the COVID vaccine). Until now I haven't taken a step to build a business but in taking these courses they planted a seed that now allows me to see the potential of taking knowledge and applying it in different ways.
I am based in Dundee, Scotland, which has a vibrant life science cluster with businesses, universities and research institutes located together. Bioenterprise is part of an ecosystem that involves universities, research and business; there’s an expectation that the bioeconomy is going to continue to grow, creating new jobs and solutions to local and global challenges across a wide range of sectors. Many undergraduate degrees in biology and most universities offer support for entrepreneurship and encourage students to take a step to create their own business.
I hope the tips and stories shared in this issue are useful and if you create a successful enterprise from what you read in this issue, don't forget to come back and let us know about it!