Scientists should have a business education as e as p


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Scientists should have a business education as e as p

  1. 1. 1Scientists Should Have A Business Education As Early AsPossibleThe missions of Universities are:• Research and knowledge production• Knowledge transmission through the publication of scientific articles and teaching to students andto professionals by continuing education programs• Professionalisation of students (the goal is to enhance their employability)• The commercialization of scientific discoveries, unique know-how and technologies developed byacademic researchersThe commercialization of scientific discoveries, unique know-how and technologies developed byacademic researchers can be favored by 3 axes: 1.Research as a Service (RaaS also called Business-to-Science): Academic labs can offer their service to companies wishing to outsource cutting-edge research and unique know-how 2.Technology-Transfer (Science-to-Business): Licensing of patents or unique know-how to companies (=> money back to University and researchers by royalties) 3.Technology-Transfer by Entrepreneurship (Science-to-Business): favoring the foundation of spin-off startups fully dedicated to develop, market and commercialize the innovative technology coming from the scientific researchUniversities have usually an intern department or even a spin-off company with a staff fully dedicatedto support the commercialization of scientific discoveries (an IP management department or companyand/or a startup incubator).The mission of such department/company is to detect as early as possible the commercial potential ofscientific discoveries in academic labs.But its a very difficult mission!Ari Massoudi / Consultant Strategy of Innovation / /
  2. 2. 2Why?First, due to the diversity of scientific fields:Formal sciences (logic, mathematics, theoretical computer science, information theory,informationscience, game theory, systems theory, statistics, ...), natural sciences (astronomy, and physicalsciences, chemical sciences, life sciences, earth sciences), applied sciences andengineering and the lastbut not the least, healthcare sciences (medicine, veterinary medicine,pharmaceuticalsciences and pharmacy ...). How the management team of the IP-department/company or startup incubator could seriously havethe skills, the scientific knowledge, the business and market understanding in all of these fields?It is just impossible!Second, due to scientists themselves.Academic scientists are very smart and brilliant persons of course, people having followed very hardand demanding education in science. But, they usually do not get anything about economics, businessadministration and development, corporate finance and accountancy, corporate strategy, strategicmarketing, people management, operational marketing and sales. Worst, they even do not have anyknowledge in competitive intelligence and Intellectual and Industrial Property!Therefore, the commercial potential of scientifc discoveries is totally underestimated and underused inmost Universities even in the US Universities, world leaders in technology-transfer and innovation.Who is the best able to identify if a discovery could have a business interest?The scientist himself of course, but only if he/she has some business knowledge.Scientists having business knowledge and education greatly facilitate the job of the IPdepartment/company or startup incubator staff. Scientists having business knowledge and educationcan actively synergize with the support provided by the IP department/company leading to a muchefficient probability to bring the technology to the market, and therefore to obtain a business success.The current solutionScientists wishing to leave academia follow a business education such as a MBA (Master of BusinessAdministration) only after their career as researcher, and sometimes several years later.Ari Massoudi / Consultant Strategy of Innovation / /
  3. 3. 3Time is not infinite for humans and time is money. The globalisation pushes companies to a hardercompetition, but also Universities. Therefore, scientific discoveries have to be put in the train oftechnology development and commercialization as soon as possible!The best solution is to propose a very designed MBA specifically to students entering into a PhDprogram in hard science. By very designed, I mean a business training perfectly adapted to the needsof technology-based startups (in contrast to regular MBA which are more suitable for people workingin large organisations).A PhD program in hard science is a full-time research activity, therefore, the courses of the MBAshould be provided at « after-work time » such as 6-10 pm during the week, but also during week-ends, and the program could last 2-3-4 years. Of course, only the most motivated PhD students will beselected to enter in a such demanding program.What will be the benefits of a such program for PhD students?At the end, they will have both a PhD and a MBA diploma (we can also imagine to provide a two-in-one diploma such as a PhD-MBA), but also they have acquired the knowledge to identify if the resultsof their PhD research could have a business potential. Even if their PhD findings is to muchfundamental to be applied, they are ready to join the management team of a technology-based startupof the University incubator. A such two-in-one training/diploma will also greatly enhance theemployability of young science graduates in companies.What will be the benefits of a such program for the University?A such combo two-in-one PhD-MBA program will greatly enhance the rate of technology-transfer,what ever the way of the transfer (by RaaS, by licensing, or startup foundation).A such combo diploma will also greatly enhance the employability of PhD graduates in companies.Therefore, the University will have a higher reputation and a higher place in international Universityrankings.A reader of this article indicated me that a such PhD-MBA already exists at the National University ofSingapore (NUS). Singapore is really an amazing country and so business-friendly!Therefore, here you have "The Proof of Concept": to Mr. Zarif Haque) If you are big company, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage tech startups or a Universityinterested to launch a the first PhD-MBA program, contact me to discuss further this idea. We couldcreate a foundation (a non-profit organization) to offer fellowship for a such PhD-MBA program.Ari Massoudi / Consultant Strategy of Innovation / /
  4. 4. 4With the partnership of a University wishing to test the efficiency of a such combo program, thefoundation will design the educational content of the MBA, recruit professors and experts in charge ofthe lectures and trainings. We will establish the admission criteria and organize the interviewof candidates, and we will follow the career fate of the PhD-MBA graduates.The fellowship will entirely cover the cost of the program.A MBA program can cost around 5,000 to 20,000 euros per year and per student (or even higher).Launching:We will open a fellowship for 1 student in each hard science field:1 mathematician1 computer scientist1 physicist1 chemist1 biologist1 medicine/dental student20,000 euro x 6 students x 3 years = 360,000 eurosThe goal will be to have 20 new students entering into the combo program each year ... or even more!Ari Massoudi / Consultant Strategy of Innovation / /