An Agile, Cross-Discipline Model for Developing Bio-Enterprise Professionals

In meeting bio-enterprise needs, university education often revolves around introducing students in the sciences to business, managerial and other professional expertise. This paper introduces the Bio-Enterprise Innovation Expertise Model, an alternative driver for bio-enterprise-relevant education that includes science-focused students, but also draws students from non-scientific fields, which are essential to the success of any bio-enterprise. Students are grounded in the global biotechnology industry and the dynamic of expertise required throughout the innovation process – from science to product. Against a backdrop of current approaches, the experience of the Business of Biotechnology (BoB) Program at the University of San Francisco (USF) is described. It utilizes the model to cohesively integrate multiple degree programs (business, law, information systems and biotechnology.) With a complement of three lecture courses and four study tours to differing global bioclusters, 95 graduate students from four degree programs undertook 170 BoB courses over five semesters. In terms of extensibility, previously unpublished Council of Graduate Schools research data is presented that shows master's focused institutions out-performing doctoral institutions at the master's level, establishing relevance of the model to all universities. The experience further demonstrates how such programs can evolve incrementally with strategic use of the model, opening numerous options for implementation, and increasing the potential to better serve bio-enterprise. 

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