What: Free participation, accommodation & meals for 2 days & 1 night
When: 18-19th July 2018
Where: University of York – Derwent College. Hendrix Hall.
The objective of the conference was to broaden delegate’s awareness of possible careers outside of the university laboratory, and highlight the professional skills they will need in addition to their technical skills. The conference was brought to you by Cogent Skills.
Event report by C1net member Francois Seys
With a few dozen PhD students and post-docs coming from all over the UK, I participated to the Industrial Biotech Skill conference organised in York by Cogent Skills on behalf of the NiBBs. It consisted of a two-days workshop dedicated to soft skills sought after in the industry. The speakers came from companies of various shapes and sizes: large multinational (Croda, Biocatalysts), SME (CHAIN biotech), start-up (Oxford Biotrans), stakeholders (BBSRC, IChemE), quality control (Fujifilm), and many others. I could not attend the workshop on scientific publishing (Taylor & Francis) and patent attorneys (Marks & Clerk), but I am looking forward to review the podcasts.
In addition to highlighting various career paths outside academia, the conference was obviously designed as a networking event. There were plenty of opportunities to sit down with speakers and participants alike, and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) sponsored a delicious dinner with overabundance of excellent wine. After dinner, many participant also got a taste of York’s finest pubs – but that was technically not part of the conference. Finally, there was even a whole workshop dedicated to networking, animated by the best speaker of the conference: Mrs Alexandra Spencer from the Royal Society of Biology!
In summary, I really enjoyed myself in York, I met some great people, and I confronted some of my preconception about transitioning from academia to industry. All of that in two days: time well spent!