Bioscience students visit Canada as part of Bio to Business learning exchange programme

Thursday, 21 September 2017

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This week, a group of Oxford Brookes University students are visiting University of Windsor in Canada as part of a unique, international learning exchange programme.

The From Bio to Business project brings together students from Oxford Brookes’ Department of Biological and Medical Sciences together with a team of students from the Odette Business School at the University of Windsor. Together, the students are developing entrepreneurial plans to commercialise scientific advances ranging from bio-fuels to vaccines. 

Deborah Pearce, Programme Lead for Biology and Environment at Oxford Brookes University said: “This is a great opportunity for students to develop further their employability skills through experiential learning and gaining business know how which is valued by employers.”

Throughout the programme, students from the University of Windsor have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge they have acquired in real-life business situations and provide valuable commercialisation advice for the Oxford Brookes students’ ideas. 

This is a great opportunity for students to develop further their employability skills through experiential learning and gaining business know-how which is valued by employers.

Deborah Pearce, Programme Lead for Biology and Environment at Oxford Brookes University

Meanwhile, the Oxford Brookes students gain an understanding of how research is translated into business, and will learn how to explain their ideas to non-scientists and gain an understanding of market competition, product positioning, potential suppliers and partners, scale-up issues, intellectual property and contracting. Students develop knowledge and understanding of creativity and innovation, within the international business environment, that leads to new product development. 

While most of the work is done via electronic communications, site visits help to enhance the experience. 

Oxford Brookes student Rachel Vowden says the course will give her a chance to show what she can do: “Majoring in human biology, I would never be exposed to the business side,” she says. “This experience will be valuable if I want to open my own business or work in management.”

Francine Schlosser, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) at the University of Windsor said: “During the face-to-face meetings, students will get to know each other, and the Odette students will more easily understand the biosciences they are to commercialise.

“It is a great challenge to have them collaborate across two different disciplines, two different universities, two different countries.”

The trip was generously funded by an alumnus of Oxford Brookes University. The group will continue working on their projects throughout the semester with the Canadian students coming to Oxford end of October for a mid-point meeting and joint presentation.

Last October, students from the University of Windsor visited Oxford Brookes for the first trip of the partnership project. 

Oxford Brookes University is committed to the development of the University’s worldwide presence that is international in its mission and outlook. More information about the University’s International Strategy 2016-2020 can be found online.