Highlights of the debate “Academia vs Industry”!

Written by Paula Hernández.

It is crucial that Academia and Industry work in collaboration to keep the loop of Technology and Knowledge Transfer going.

This was one of the core conclusions reached by the participants in the “Academia vs Industry” Round Table which took place last Wednesday 16th December as an exciting closing event of the year 2020. This debate session organized by the YEBN aimed at creating an interactive space in which experts could share insightful perspectives arising from their experience in both academic and industrial worlds, in order to help attendees in the search of future jobs.

The session, which started with an engaging poll asking for participants to express their current position in the debate, proceeded with the exposition by the speakers of the challenges encountered in their working path and the main suggestions when choosing between Industry and Academia. Not only did they approach the question of the debate targeting the specific needs of the audience, but they also gave many interesting insights regarding its priorities shown in the poll results.

Helen Lee, Professor at the University of Cambridge, and Chairman and CEO of Diagnostics for the Real World, brought to light aspects such as the importance of knowing your capabilities when deciding to work in the demanding industrial world, as well as the special challenge for women to enter this environment and how to approach this difficulty.

Patrick Torbey, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Neoplants, shared his experience in the complicate path of launching a start-up and gave an insight on the how important he finds the mindset and a complete set of skills when recruiting the ideal worker for his company over an outstanding academic record.

Finally, Nadine Schmieder-Galfe, Marketing Director at DyNAbind, and Head of Finance and Co-founder at Zellmechanik Dresden, presented an impactful vision on the loop followed by Academic Research and Industry in which political and economic aspects become important, reaching the conclusion that both must work together by feeding each other with knowledge and grants.

The chat received very positive feedback by attendees and interesting questions were posed to the speakers, making this insightful and inspiring event a good way to finish the year.

Paula Hernández is a Master student at the University of Milan and member of YEBN’s Communication Task Group. She has a great interest in Food and Environmental Sciences, and how Biotech can help achieve a more sustainable future.