33 Best Masters Biotechnology Programs with Focus on Commercialization, Patenting, Business and Entrepreneurship in Europe
I assume the readers are aware of the importance of getting exposed to patenting, commercialization, business & product development, and entrepreneurship during the Master’s programs to thrive in the biotechnology and life sciences sector. If you haven’t, please refer to how to improve your job opportunities after MS in Biotechnology & Life Science in USA and MS vs PSM Biotechnology – how to choose the right Master’s Program in the US. I received tons of queries for similar Masters programs in Europe. In this post, we will look at the best Masters Biotechnology programs in Europe with a focus on commercialization, IP & Patenting, Business, Product Development, and Entrepreneurship.
Best Masters Biotechnology Programs in Europe
With Focus on Commercialization, IP/Patenting, Business, Product Development, and Entrepreneurship
This list has been created after referring to the program curriculum, industry tie-ups, departmental profiles, vicinity to biotech clusters, and overall university reputation. The following programs are among the best in Europe and are not in any particular order. As you can see from the map above – the majority of biotech startups are in France, Denmark, UK (particularly around London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Aberdeen), Ireland, Sweden (particularly around Stockholm), Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and Finland.
MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise – University of Cambridge
The Masters in Bioscience Enterprise (MBE) programme is a one-year intensive, multi-disciplinary, taught science and business course intended for those who have an interest in enterprise and the ambition to found technology companies or take up leadership, executive or consultancy roles in the life sciences sector.
Science and technology, business and translational science modules are taught along with commercial know-how with advances in research and demonstrating the many complex issues associated with bringing discovery and innovation from the laboratory to the market.
The programme is extremely interactive and includes practical elements in the form of interdisciplinary projects, workshops, case studies, and business planning activities.
Students have opportunities to undertake a consulting project and a technology company internship placement, and gain an international perspective during a (self-funded, optional) study tour to biotech clusters in USA, Europe or China.
The objective of the MPhil programme in Bioscience Enterprise is to:
- Enhance understanding of life sciences and related technological developments;
- Foster research and analytical skills and methodologies;
- Develop written and verbal communication skills;
- Provide knowledge of the ethical, legal and regulatory issues associated with bringing scientific advances to the market;
- Develop applied business skills, including those that enable students to: identify potential business opportunities arising from research in life sciences and related areas; exploit entrepreneurial opportunities and undertake senior executive roles within biotechnology companies and other commercial entities.
Program Fees: GBP 28,400
Scholarships: University Scholarships are Available
MSc Biotechnology & Business – University College Dublin (UCD)
The MSc Biotechnology & Business program at UCD is jointly run by the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
The one-year MSc Biotechnology and Business programme is designed for life science and chemistry graduates who want to pursue a career in management or entrepreneurship in technology and science-based fields. It’s ideal for the folks who are seeking a first job in a biotechnology or biopharmaceutical company, starting your own small business or creating new opportunities in larger companies.
The program provides the theoretical knowledge needed to understand the latest know-how being applied in the design and development of new and highly innovative biotechnological and pharmaceutical products.
A key feature is the opportunity to carry out a business development plan which will allow graduates to develop connections with prospective employers, thereby enhancing chances of employment on graduation. Additionally, the program also provides hands-on experience in drug discovery and development, bioprocess technology, regulatory affairs and the design and management of clinical trials.
The program has been designed in consultation with employers and therefore will be recognized and valued by them. Prospective employers include Abbott, Allergan, Amgen, Baxter Healthcare, Beckman Coulter, Biotrin International Ltd., Boston Scientific, Elan Corporation, Eli Lilly and Co., Celltech, Glaxo SmithKline, Icon Clinical Research, Johnson & Johnson Ltd., Kerry Group Plc., Merck Sharp & Dohme, Quintiles; Sandoz, Serology Ltd.
Program Fees: EUR 24,800
Scholarships: 25 – 50% Scholarships are available
Masters in Bioentrepreneurship – Karolinska Institute
Karolinska is one of the best medical universities in the world. The Masters in Bioentrepreneurship program at Karolinska use real-life cases to learn from and the programme includes two practical placements at companies, authorities or other relevant organizations, in Sweden or abroad.
In these placements, you apply what you have learned to create a mutually beneficial experience for you and the hosting company. The degree project is also usually performed in a company setting. Many of the lecturers are experienced life science business leaders who act as inspiration and share their own knowledge and experience.
The programme is interdisciplinary with regards to the background of both students and teachers as well as the pedagogical methods that are used in the programme. In addition, some of the courses in the programme are offered together with our partner schools in Stockholm. The business administration courses are offered by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the elective courses by Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
The selection is based on an overall assessment of the applicant’s qualifications such as previous education, relevant work and/or research experience and statement of purpose.
Program Fees: SEK 360,000
Scholarships: Govt. and University Scholarships are available.
MSc Business Administration and Bio-Entrepreneurship – Copenhagen Business School (CBS), University Copenhagen, and Technical University of Denmark
MSc in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship is a full-time two-year programme. The programme is part of the BioBusiness & Innovation Platform (BBIP), offering Denmark’s first university degree and academic courses bridging business and biotech. BBIP is cooperation between Copenhagen Business School (CBS), The Technical University of Denmark (DTU Systems Biology) and the University of Copenhagen (KU) and leading life science firms in Denmark.
Students will learn what is required to translate scientific research and patents into innovative products and viable business opportunities. The teaching draws on industry experts, high-quality academic faculty, real-life cases, insight into bio ventures, and includes a three-month internship in one of Denmark’s leading life-science companies.
The first year allows you to further develop skills and insights into advanced biology and biotechnology. The first year classes will be delivered by The University of Copenhagen and the Danish Technical University.
In the second year, courses and project work at CBS train you in the business skills required to translate bio-innovation into start-up firms and life-science firms. You learn to combine your previous training in life-science with the concepts and tools for business analysis.
Third-semester courses include innovation management, marketing, finance, and bio-business development and contracting. Moreover, you work in interdisciplinary teams with business students to complete a business plan on a real-life venture. The business plan may during the course be submitted to the Danish Venture Cup Idea Competition.
In your fourth and final semester, you complete an internship in a leading company in the Copenhagen region within biotech, pharma or industrial bio. Your internship will be in a business department (marketing, business development, competitor intelligence etc.) in one of these firms. In parallel with the internship, you write your master thesis. Your thesis presents a systematic, in-depth analysis of selected issues you have encountered during your internship. The program has close collaborations with the industry including Novo Nordisk.
Program Fees: EUR 25,000
CBS also offers another very relevant program – MSc in Business Administration and Innovation in Healthcare.
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MSc Biology and Business Studies – Leiden University
The MSc Biology and Business Studies program at Leiden University combines science and business by focusing on areas such as technology management, innovation, entrepreneurship, operations, and decision making. This two-year Master’s program will allow you to combine Biology research with Business Studies. You will learn about analytical frameworks and skills for managerial decision making. Know more about the program curriculum.
The emphasis of the business specialization is on the application of these frameworks and skills in the context of R&D-intensive organizations. After completion, you have obtained the necessary knowledge and skills to take on managerial responsibilities in your work.
Why Study at Leiden:
- The program provides you with a full year of research training in Biology followed by a year of training in business theory.
- Within the programme, you have ample opportunities to assemble our own study path based on your own interests and ambitions.
- You have the opportunity to gain hands-on business experience working as an intern for a company. The real-life experience of the internship often provides students an edge in securing competitive job openings.
Program Fees: EUR 36,600
Scholarships: Up to 75% scholarships are available
The Biology program focuses on Biodiversity & Sustainability, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology, Cell Biology, and Scientific Communication.
Leiden University also offers the following two relevant programs:
MSc Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences and Business Studies – focuses on Bio-Therapeutics, Industrial Pharmacy, Drug Discovery, Drug Delivery Technology, Medicinal Chemistry, Systems Medicine, Pharmacology and Toxicology.
MSc Life Science and Business Studies – focuses on Life Sciences, biomedicine and Chemical Biology.
MSc in Molecular Biology with Bio-Innovation – University College Cork (UCC)
The MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation is a 12-month innovative course aimed at highly-motivated students with an interest in biomedical research in the areas of cancer biology, infection/immunity or molecular neuroscience and entrepreneurial thinking. The course will provide you with a truly interdisciplinary educational experience by combining advanced discipline-specific training with core scientific research, technical expertise and business skills.
The program aims to recruit highly motivated students with an interest in research and entrepreneurial thinking. The core of the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology is a six-month research project, within one of three disciplinary strands – cancer biology, infection/immunity, or molecular neuroscience – offered with established research investigators through the Schools of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Anatomy/Neuroscience or select industrial partners.
A unique feature of this MSc programme is that all students will receive formal innovation and technology commercialization training through the School of Business and Law at UCC.
Program Fees: EUR 22,000
Scholarships: 25 – 50% scholarships are available
Master in Applied and Commercial Biotechnology – Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
The MSc Applied and Commercial Biotechnology program at INN University revolves around the use of living organisms – plant cells, animal cells and microorganisms – and biomolecules from these, for the creation of new products and services. Biotechnology provides solutions for a future bio-economy based on sustainability with respect to food production, health, and the environment.
In this master’s degree programme, you can choose between two specializations:
- Experimental biotechnology
- Commercialisation of biotechnology
Students in both specializations take coursework covering our main experimental fields of interest, as well as commercialization of biotechnology. Thus, students graduating from our programme possess a cross-disciplinary approach to addressing biotechnological problems.
The specialization in experimental biotechnology in our master’s degree programme focuses on:
- Cell- and reproduction biotechnology in livestock animals and fish
- Molecular and functional genetics/genomics with applications in breeding, diagnostics and wildlife management
- Bioprocessing and enzyme technology with an emphasis on recovering products of value from by-products and natural resources
- Bioinformatics directed towards drug discovery and diagnostics of antibiotics resistance
The specialization in the commercialization of biotechnology focuses on taking biotechnological ideas and inventions from the laboratory to the market, with emphasis on various factors that facilitate and regulate this process. This includes topics as economics & business models, commercialization, innovation, intellectual property, and legislation.
For students taking the Experimental Biotechnology specialisation, and who want to perform Master’s thesis work in molecular biology, the degree from higher education must in addition include coursework in molecular biology with a minimum grade of C. Students lacking molecular biology coursework may qualify for molecular biology thesis work by taking a Bachelor-level molecular biology course at INN University.
Program Fees: No Tuition Fees (Free Education in Norway); but you need to pay a semester fee (NOK 776 / ~ INR 6,500).
Masters (MSc) in Science and Business Management – Utrecht University
The Master’s programme Science (Life & Natural Sciences) and Business Management at Utrecht University has been chosen as the best programme in the field in the yearly review ‘Beste studies’ by Elsevier. The Master’s programme Science and Business Management (SBM) programme is designed to equip students with sufficient knowledge and skills, not only to undertake scientific research but also to be able to translate a scientific idea into a successful product.
The program enables graduates of bachelor’s programmes in life- or natural sciences to combine their passions for science and business. The programme will equip you with the knowledge and tools to identify, manage, and overcome problems that arise in each phase of the innovation process.
The master’s programme consists of two years, in which the focus gradually shifts from performing scientific research towards having a career in industry or business.
The first year starts off with a research project within one of the research groups at either the Science Faculty (UU or UMCU) or the associated research groups of the Graduate School Life Sciences. The internship in the 1st year (around 9 months) is focused on your scientific area of expertise.
The 2nd year starts off with an intensive half year of coursework on business-related topics. The course consists of the economic environment, management skills, organization, marketing, management accounting, human resources, entrepreneurship, and several workshops.
The final half year you will use your business knowledge in an internship at a national or international company. The internship must be sufficiently challenging and is subject to approval by the coordinator and board of examiners. Know more about the program curriculum.
Program Fees: EUR 39,000
Scholarships: Check here
MSc Industrial Biotechnology – University of Strathclyde
The MSc Industrial Biotechnology program at Strathclyde is aimed towards the recent graduates and early-career professionals with a variety of backgrounds, from the UK, EU and overseas, all with a common desire to be challenged and with a real passion for industrial biotechnology. The program is delivered by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), which offers an excellent environment for research and teaching.
The course has been designed in direct response to industry needs and is at the forefront of developments in biotechnology and engineering. The course content is informed by industry and reviewed annually to ensure it is up-to-date and optimally-aligned to the rapidly growing industrial biotechnology sector.
This unique MSc degree is awarded by the University of Strathclyde; students are taught at Strathclyde’s campus in Glasgow and eight other higher education institutions across Scotland. These are:
- Abertay University
- Heriot-Watt University
- Innogen Institute
- Scottish Association for Marine Science
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of the Highlands and Islands
Core classes include:
- Bioprocessing (Strathclyde University)
- Applied Biocatalysis (Strathclyde University)
- Synthetic Biology (Glasgow University)
- Downstream Processing (Heriot-Watt University)
- Induction Scientific Programming (Edinburgh University)
- Bioinformatics (Edinburgh University)
Elective classes include:
- Introduction to Industrial Biotechnology and its Governance (The Innogen Institute, Edinburgh University)
- Blue Biotechnology (SAMS, University of the Highlands & Islands)
- Renewable Energy Technologies (Abertay University)
- Sustainable and Resource Efficient Formulation (Abertay University)
- Case studies in Supply Chain Management (Strathclyde University)
- Advanced Project Management (Strathclyde University)
Program Fees: GBP 19,500
Scholarships: Check here
Masters in Biotechnology – Lund University
The program title could be Masters in Biotechnology. But, the program is extremely industry-oriented. The Master’s in Biotechnology at Lund University is a broad programme covering scientific and technological aspects of biotechnology processes, biocatalysts including enzymes and microorganisms, product recovery and process design.
Lund University is among the leading universities in the world for research and education in biotechnology. It is home to several world-renowned scientists who have strong links to the industry – from large multinational companies to small enterprises based on research developed within our departments.
The Master’s thesis project can be academic in nature, or developed within the industry, and can be carried out either in Lund or abroad. Examples of companies and universities where students have performed their degree projects include Bioprocess Control (Sweden), University of Oxford (UK), Keio University (Japan), and Goethe-Universität (Germany).
Due to our close links with local and international industry, the programme is closely aligned to market needs, and there is a clear emphasis on the engineering aspects of biotechnology. During your studies, you will meet not only researchers at the departments but also guest lecturers from biotech companies working with, for example, product development and marketing.
Your future job could be anywhere in the world — in a small start-up or a large multinational company, a government authority or a university. Our alumni move on to roles in research and development, process operations, product development, and sales. The programme also provides an excellent foundation for continuing your studies at the Ph.D. level.
Program Fees: SEK 290,000 (INR 22 Lacs)
Scholarships: Govt. and University Specific Scholarships (25 – 100%) are available
Related Program: MSc Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
MSc Industrial Biotechnology – TU Munich
The design of the Master’s in Industrial Biotechnology (IBT) program at TU Munich is unique in Germany and one of the first of its kind in Europe. IBT graduates can go for Ph.D., especially in the Research Center for White Biotechnology at TUM. Alternatively, graduates of the program can choose from a variety of challenging careers in research and development, production, manufacturing, plant and equipment manufacturing, consultancy and management.
In addition to the chemical industry, key industry sectors for graduates of this program include the biotechnology sector, plant, and equipment manufacturing the pharmaceutical industry and the environmental technology sector. Overall, the program is more focused on bio-engineering (biomedical engineering), chemistry, and chemical engineering.
In the first two semesters, graduates with bachelor’s degrees in science or engineering are taught the interdisciplinary fundamentals, based on a specially tailored curriculum. The program continues with scientific training in the following four key areas: enzyme engineering, metabolic engineering, bioprocess engineering, and bioseparation engineering. Know more about the program curriculum.
Program Fees: No Fees (semester fees is applicable though)
MSc Biotechnology – Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
The Masters in Biotechnology programs at DTU will allow students to learn the fundamental knowledge of biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, and process technology. You will learn to apply this knowledge to biotechnological problems, ranging from basic research issues to the development of new cell factories and the study of their behavior in bioreactors. You will acquire the relevant competencies for collecting and analyzing wide-ranging data, for instance by using statistics, bioinformatics, and mathematical models.
The MSc programme in Biotechnology contains no predefined study lines or recommended programmes. Instead, you can define your own study plan and tailor your biotechnological profile from a wide range of general competence courses, technological specialization courses, and elective courses at DTU. There will be considerable scope for taking individual special courses where you can explore a topic of own choice in-depth, and you will also have the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad. Learn more about the program curriculum.
Career and job opportunities are available in the biotech industry within research and production of new medicines, enzymes, and ingredients as well as in the environmental area. Many biotech engineers work for consultancy firms or in the public sector.
DTU’s study programmes in biotechnology are first and foremost large-scale suppliers of graduates and PhDs for, among others:
- the biotech industry, e.g. Novozymes A/S and Novo Nordisk A/S
- the pharmaceutical industry, e.g. LEO Pharma A/S and Lundbeck A/S
- the food industry, e.g. Chr. Hansen A/S and Arla
- the research community at universities in Denmark and abroad
Once you have an MSc in Engineering, you might get the opportunity to continue your studies and apply for admission to the three-year Ph.D., which at DTU is a research-based programme ranking among the best in the world. You can do either a regular Ph.D. or an industrial Ph.D., the latter with concurrent employment in a company.
Program Fees: EUR 30,000
The program offers three tracks: cell-based process biotechnology, enzyme biotechnology, and environmental biotechnology. The student shall complete all courses within one track. In addition, the student will tailor their education by combing their choice with a second track either of this programme or any of the two tracks at the master’s programme in Medical Biotechnology. It is also possible to cherry pick courses from any track to create one’s own unique professional profile.
Career Options include Research Scientists, Sales Representative, Field Application Specialist, QC Scientists, Project Manager, Science Communicator, Laboratory Manager, Operation Developer, Patent Analyst, and Research Associate.
The MSc in Communication, Management and Health is offered by the Institute of Communication and Health of USI’s Faculty of Communication situated in Lugano – Switzerland. This full-time study programme comprises 120 ECTS spread over 4 semesters (usual duration 2 years) and is entirely offered in English. MCMH offers a unique opportunity to have a focused and in-depth programme in the health sector while at the same time gain a broad understanding of how business and marketing functions operate.
Candidates can find jobs in marketing and communication functions of pharmaceutical, biotech and insurance companies, and government and other organizations in the health sector where the combination of analytical skills and understanding of the health sector will provide a competitive advantage. The skills and knowledge obtained from the degree can also be used in many other areas such as communication, management, marketing, and other market-related functions.
Other Top Masters in Biotechnology Programs with Focus on Commercialization, Business Development, IP, and Entrepreneurship in Europe
MSc Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation – University of Groningen (To be named “Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment” starting September 2019)
MSc Industrial Biotechnology and Enterprise – University of Bath (For Indian Applicants only)
MSc Molecular and Applied Biotechnology – RWTH Aachen University (Program taught in German)
MSc Biotechnology or MSc Molecular Medicine at NTNU with Focus on Patenting and Commercialization
You might also like to know about Top 10 European Biotech Entrepreneurs under 30 in 2016 and Biotech Ecosystem and Top Universities in Europe.
Featured Image Source: Yeshiva University
Author: Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & MS Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage online marketing at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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