A two-day hands on workshop for doctoral students and post-docs in life sciences
Over the last decades, life sciences have become a productive source of technological innovation, leading to commercial products and new markets. Along with this ongoing development, issues in intellectual property are becoming more and more important for researchers in biosciences.
To help young researchers in the life sciences prepare for this challenge, the Forum for Genetic Research and the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property organized a two-day course dedicated to patents and their implementation in the field of life sciences.
The course consisted of a series of lectures on intellectual property protection and patent law, challenges related to intellectual property in an academic environment and in a spin-off company, ethical considerations and career opportunities. There was also the opportunity to participate in a workshops where participants gained hands on experiences in the topics described (see program for details).
The course solicited solid interest and was attended by 36 PhD students and 5 postdocs coming from all major Swiss Universities and Federal Institutes of Technology. This year’s participants were exceptionally motivated and engaged, leading to a dynamic course with interesting discussions and productive workshops. Responding to previous years’ comments, the organizers gave even more room to practical experience by expanding the length of the workshops and adding a session on patent search. In addition, a special seminar was dedicated to career opportunities. These changes appeared to be appreciated by the participants who all evaluated the course as overall excellent (65% of respondents) or good (35%).
The course was organized by Prof. Heinz Müller, the Forum for Genetic Research and the Swiss Federal Institute for Intellectual Property, in collaboration with the following doctoral schools:
•CUSO, doctoral programs Staromics, Microbiology and Molecular Plant Sciences
•Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Bern
•Life Science Graduate School, Zürich
•Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology, University of Neuchâtel
The course was generously supported by the Kontaktgruppe für Forschungsfragen (KGF) and its member companies BASF, Syngenta, Novartis and Roche.