The forum promotes a differentiated and objective approach to new developments in genetic research. To this end, it provides scientific information on a broad spectrum of socially relevant topics and, on this basis, promotes the dialogue between research, politics and society.more

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Making the most out of my research - Patents and other things I cannot afford to ignore 2016


Löwenberg 43, Murten

A two-day hands on workshop for doctoral students and post-docs in life sciences

Centre Löwenberg Murten Hauptgebäude

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.

  • Seminar by Anna Deplazes on ethical challenges
  • Over 40 PhD students and postdocs attended the course.
  • Animated discussions after the first course day
  • BBQ dinner at the Centre Loewenberg
  • Yellow iris in the biotope of the Centre Loewenberg
  • Seminar by Anna Deplazes on ethical challenges1/5
  • Over 40 PhD students and postdocs attended the course.2/5
  • Animated discussions after the first course day3/5
  • BBQ dinner at the Centre Loewenberg4/5
  • Yellow iris in the biotope of the Centre Loewenberg5/5


  • Patents
  • Promotion of young talents
  • Training


Forum for Genetic Research
House of Academies
PO Box
3001 Bern

Languages: English