It is important that students develop an appreciation of the bioindustry landscape and forge links with the wider enterprise community. There are many curricular opportunities for students to develop this knowledge and to build their own personal network.
Biotechnology companies in Cambridge, London and further afield are welcoming of the talented and enthusiastic MBE students and are extremely generous in the time their executives devote to mentoring and teaching and to providing projects and supervising their progress.
MBE students are also fortunate in having access to many of the region's premier biotech academic conferences and business networking events through the University of Cambridge and organisations such as One Nucleus. Conferences and company visits enable students to meet senior company executives from the UK and overseas and to learn from their experiences. Some of the opportunities and activites are listed below:
Internship and Dissertation
Students undertake an internship placement with a company or organisation, conducting research on a project of real interest to the company. The internship provides experience of working in a commercial organisation as well as an opportunity to collect data as the basis for a dissertation. Students may opt, circumstances permitting, to work within multinational companies, start-ups, small to medium sized enterprises or service providers to the biotech sector, such as accounting, legal or IP practices. Normally students spend 4 - 6 weeks with a company and are encouraged to put into practise the lessons learnt from the academic aspects of the programme as well as to demonstrate original research and analysis. The dissertation is an important component of programme assessment and contributes 30% of the total marks.
During the Lent Term and under the supervision of faculty of Judge Business School, students work in multi-disciplinary teams to fulfill a consulting project brief for a company in the technology sector. This is an important opportunity for students to learn project management and team skills, as well as deliver a professional report to the client.
Biotechnology Company and Cluster Visits
Lent Term - Boston, USA Biotech Cluster (optional)
In addition to company visits undertaken in the UK, there is an optional opportunity to gain an international perspective of the industry sector during a study tour to the biotech cluster in Boston, USA. Visits to international centres of scientific excellence and biotechnology commercialisation enable students to gain an international perspective of the sector and of the numerous business models in operation, as well as to establish a wide network of academic and business contacts. During the visit to Boston, USA students meet with senior company executives, visit research and development facilities and network with students and leading academics at MIT and Harvard.
Additional charges are payable by students who elect to participate in these activities or incur discretionary expenses associated with studying on the programme.
Easter Term - European Biotech Cluster (optional, student led)
Students may also organise their own visit to the a European life science business cluster. Destinations in the past have included Basel, Switzerland and Medicon Valley, the biocluster that spans the island of Zeeland in eastern Denmark and the Skåne region of southern Sweden. The visit has proved to be an extremely valuable experience for participants. Costs incurred during this visit are additional to University tuition fees.
Two alumni of the Institute of Biotechnology provide invaluable inspiration, guidance and practical support to the research and business students currently studying in the department. In their professional lives both Dr Darrin Disley and Dr Sridhar Iyengar have recognised the opportunity afforded by a scientific advance and applied their business and leadership skills to build significant technology companies. Despite the demands on their time in their own companies, both are extremely generous in offering their expertise and time to help the next generation of entrepreneurs studying in the department.