Industrial Biotechnology Skills Conference and Workshop, 18-19 May 2016, Manchester


This two-day BBSRC event, developed in conjunction Cogent Skills and the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum, is an opportunity for early career researchers to discover more about possible career paths in Industrial Technology, including those outside the laboratory. This event will feature career development workshops and activities, as well as sessions from individuals in academia & industry highlighting various career paths and opportunities.

This event will bring together a mix of early career researchers from 9 BBSRC NIBB. NPRONET will sponsor up to 10 people to attend this event free of charge, these places are available to PhD students, Post-docs, and early career industry researchers.

Due to the limited number of places available, if you wish to attend you will need to complete a short form by the 1st April to tell us about yourself and how you will benefit from this opportunity.

Places will be allocated based on an assessment of the applications by the NPRONET Network Manager, and with the aim of making the event accessible to a range of participants from different organisations and backgrounds. In the event that we receive more qualifying applications than we can offer places to, the allocation will be decided by blind ballot. You must be a member of NPRONET to receive this sponsorship, and you must not have submitted an application for this course to any other NIBB.

To register your interest, please download the form available here and return the completed application to the Network Manager by email:

Join the NPRONET Network by completing the membership form here.

Submission of a completed application form does not constitute a confirmed registration. We will inform you whether your application was successful as soon as possible after the closing date.

Draft programme:

18th-19th May 2016, Manchester MacDonald Hotel, London road, Manchester M1 2PG


10.00-12.30 Session 1 – Introduction to Industrial Biotechnology

10.00 Introduction to the course
10.10 The key sectors for the UK & the importance of IB to the UK – Innovate UK
10.40 IB within the UK – KTN Ltd
11.10 The diverse range of markets served by IB followed by Group discussion of IB as an enabling technology
12.00 Skills development programmes – BBSRC
12.30 The UK skills gap: where there are plenty of jobs opening up – Cogent Skills

13.00 Lunch

13.45-18.00 Session 2 – Non-laboratory based careers

13.45 Two parallel tracks of four sessions

Commerical careers Legal/regulatory careers
1 Marketing (Promotions) Quality management
2 Marketing (Strategy) Quality assurance
3 Sales Intellectual Property
4 Project & programme management Regulatory compliance

15.05 Break

15.30-14.50 Four sessions

Scale up & production
Advanced manufacturing
Emerging science e.g. Bioinformatics

17.00 General discussion on career opportunities and how to move into them
17.20 One-to-one meetings with practitioners in the above areas e.g. Patent lawyers, company representatives looking to recruit
18.00 Finish followed by Networking drinks & Dinner


8.30 Introduction to Day 2

8.40-11.50 Session 3 – Communication and personal effectiveness

8.40 Four sessions

Good & bad communications including good & bad meetings
Solutions not problems (what gets you fired)
Leadership & Management

10.00 Coffee Break

10.25 Four sessions

Being a star new employee
Learning & development
Basic finance
Values and behaviours or Square pegs don’t fit into round holes

11.50-13.00 Session 4 – Working for different types of companies

11.50 Working for a large multinational
12.15 Working for a SME
12.35 Working for a start up

13.00 Lunch

13.45-16.15 Session 5 – Money

13.45 How to write a Grant application
14.15 How to write a business plan
14.45 Break
15.10 What Venture capitalists and Private Equity companies are looking to fund
15.45 Making applications for Innovate competitions – Innovate
16.15 Workshop wrap up