3rd Industry-Academia Networking Training Experience


The third industry-academia networking event of STACCATO took place from 6 to 10 September 2021 in a virtual setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was organised by iBET, BD and accelopment and served as a platform for all ESRs to:

  • exchange the developments of their projects;
  • learn more about vaccines and gene therapy;
  • get insights on how working in the non-academic sector looks like;
  • find out more about possible next steps in their careers after completion of their PhDs. 

Day 1 – Network meeting and ESR progress presentations

Antonio Roldão, Inés Isidro and Paula Alves from iBET kicked off the event by introducing the programme and giving insights into the organisational part. 

Afterwards, all ESRs had the chance to present an update on their research projects and receive feedback and suggestions from their fellow researchers and PIs. It was amazing to see the progress made within STACCATO and the improvement all ESRs have made in their presentation and research skills.

Day 2 – STACCATO BioPharma Focus Event – Gene therapy & Vaccines

The second day was focused on gene therapy and vaccines production. After a detailed introduction into biotechnology from iBET´s VP and founder Manuel Carrondo, ESRs learned about stable producer cell line development for gene therapy vectors, integrated bioprocesses for cell-based vaccines, as well as downstream and analytics development.

In the evening, Nikolaus and Marco organised a pub quiz with questions about science, music, sports, geography, and history. It was nice to catch up with everyone, and in the end, the “ladies team” took the victory.

Day 3 – Career Development Workshop

The career development workshop started with an inspiring talk from Michael Heath (MH Consulting) about “How to get hired”. ESRs learned about essential aspects in their CVs, what to do and what to avoid in interviews and other important things to consider in the next steps of their careers. Other topics of the day consisted of ethics in research, building and funding a biotechnology start-up, and FastNet recruitment talked about essential competencies in the biopharmaceutical industry, which should help all ESR’s in the next steps of their careers.

Day 4 – Research Career Day

On day four, accelopment introduced ESRs to European funding schemes and opportunities, including MSCA postdoctoral fellowships. Helpful guidance on proposal writing was as well included in the training. These are important aspects of research and will help those of us that would like to stay in academia. After the lecturers ended, a game night was organised with a drawing and guessing game as a highlight of the evening.

Day 5 – Working in the non-academic sector

The last day of the event was organised by BD, and ESRs received insight into working in the non-academic sector. We could hear about the typical working days of scientists at BD, received a Virtual Tour through the facility in Limerick and had an inspirational panel discussion from several managers about their different paths from academia to industry. All ESR’s were able to learn a lot from this discussion, and it was nice to get the perspective of the non-academic sector.

Overall, the third Annual Industry-Academia Network Experience was an outstanding event.
Even though we could not meet in person this time, we have taken a lot from the event, including inspiring talks, insights from both academia and industry, and had an excellent time networking during our social activities.