The Fundación provides a special science and business environment for graduate training, where students from different universities of our country meet while conducting their thesis work. In a joint initiative with Universidad Andrés Bello, we created the first biotechnology graduate program in Chile. This Program encourages students to explore biological research through training in basic sciences, biotechnology business, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and intellectual property.
Special courses include “Biotechnology: Applications and Business Opportunities”, which incorporates aspects of technology, technology transfer, intellectual property, regulation, finance and marketing. Another course of the program is “Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property”, a hands-on course where students learn about patentable inventions, preparing and filing patent applications and the use of patent databases. As the final activity of this course, students must prepare a patent application. In fact, students and their advisors have used these drafts as basis for filing applications in the Chilean patent office, since the documents relate to their own research activities.
As of 2015, a total of 148 students have entered the Program since its inception and 68 students have already graduated. In 2015 there are 68 students currently enrolled in the program, 44 of them with fellowships from Conicyt. The training program includes interactions not only with the Chilean academic sector but also with the industrial sector. As part of this program several of our students are doing their thesis in areas associated with local industries. Our efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship in our graduate students are oriented towards their involvement in the activities of the companies residing in our Science and Business Park, an environment heavily involved in technology transfer, start-up formation, venture capital financing and more. This provides the students with an experience that is truly unique in Chile. In addition, we constantly seek out opportunities to bring new knowledge to students and researchers through international courses, symposia and workshops.