A need for SA-driven drug innovation, worrying unemployment rates among university graduates, and a keen eye for opportunity prompted UCT graduate-turned-bioconsulting-entrepreneur Dr Nirvana Pillay to develop three courses aimed specifically at turning great scientists into great business minds.
Pillay is managing director of Xcell BioConsulting, which has joined forces with UCT's Graduate School of Business to present online courses in bioentrepreneurship. These 10-week, certificate-level programmes are aimed at those in the medical and life sciences who wish to awaken the entrepreneur within.
"There is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit in this field," says Pillay. "Only one in 10 000 lead compounds actually become commercialised drugs, hardly any of which are developed in South Africa."
Science graduates may choose from three specialised bioentrepreneurship courses, depending on their level of interest in management and their level of interest in science.
The courses are Biopharma Research Management Training, which focuses on project management; From Molecule to Market, looking at marketing and commercialisation; and From Science to Business, for those interested in making the transition from science to business.
And there are a number of advantages to doing the courses online. For example, the students will enjoy full access to all online study materials, and can also access the course convenors via discussion forums or email.
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