Biotechnology YES 2011 competition now open

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This arrived from the BBSRC, but it is relevant to all early-career researchers in Biosciences, not just those receiving BBSRC funding:

Calling all Bioscience Post Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Researchers:

Biotechnology YES 2011 competition is open – Closing date 27th May 2011

If you haven’t taken part in Biotechnology YES in previous years then I strongly advise you to do so this year.

“Why bother?”, I hear you say.

Well, an independent review of 15 years of Biotechnology YES has delivered the following key messages:

· With the recession YES is more relevant than ever, highlighting and helping graduates with career opportunities

· Biotechnology YES appears to be occupying a niche that is not being addressed by the traditional supply base in meeting the need to provide an opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills

· Biotechnology YES offers research scientists opportunities outside of academia and shows them the skills needed to move their science forward including marketing, finance, IP etc.

· The inclusive nature of Biotechnology YES where researchers and industry are brought together offers an opportunity to improve knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurial skills and enterprising behaviours amongst the participants and the stakeholders.

· Past participants of Biotechnology YES stated that YES enabled them to develop a different set of skills to those developed through their PhD, including commercial knowledge and awareness, financial awareness and communication in a commercial setting.

Here’s what some past participants had to say:

· “I feel Biotechnology YES has significantly improved my career prospects, and wholeheartedly encourage other PhD students to take part in YES.”

· “YES gave me the opportunity to demonstrate and develop skills that one rarely (if ever) gets the chance to develop during the progression of a ‘typical’ research PhD programme.”

· “Participating and being one of the winning team members changed my life: moreover, YES inspired me to start my own business.”

· “The workshop really opened my eyes to the world of commercialisation of sciences and has had a huge impact on my career since.”

· “YES gave me self-confidence, knowledge of the wide number of career options available and experience of real team working.”

Places are limited and are being snapped up, so don’t delay get your application in today!

Go to to download your application form. Closing date is 27th May.

“What is YES?” I hear you cry

Biotechnology YES is an innovative programme and competition aimed at raising awareness of commercialisation of bioscience research. It is co-organised by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise & Innovation (UNIEI). YES entrants form imaginary companies and bid for funding to commercialise their hypothetical ideas. Through 3-day workshops taking place across the UK this autumn, participants receive training from entrepreneurs, patent lawyers and industry representatives in the business skills necessary to recognise, protect and harness the commercial potential of scientific research outputs.

You don’t need to have a fully formulated idea for your imaginary company at this stage as guidance will be given at the Briefing in July. So what are you waiting for?

The culmination of the competition is the preparation and presentation, by each team, of a hypothetical business plan for a new start-up company. The competition is therefore fully in line with the government’s objective of encouraging economic and social impact and the competition is endorsed by a number of bio-based industries through their sponsorship. In addition, the winning team of the national Biotechnology YES competition will receive a prize of £1000.

Since its launch fifteen years ago, Biotechnology YES has provided entrepreneurial business training for around 3000 researchers from across the UK. A recent independent review of the scheme has highlighted that many former participants found YES to be very influential in developing their careers, with several starting their own companies and many more becoming business professionals within the bioscience sector.

More information can be found at the website:  or those interested in participating may wish to contact Tracey Hassall-Jones


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