RVC and Sechenov University Launch a Program for the Development of Entrepreneurship in Biomedicine and Health Technologies


Project:  The Inter-University Training Course: Innovative Economy and Technology Entrepreneurship

RVC, in association with the Sechenov University, conducted training for teachers of higher educational institutions-operators of a new course on the development of entrepreneurship in the medical technology sector. More than ten universities will implement this course in the 2020–2021 academic year.

The Sechenov University, commissioned by RVC in 2020, developed a specialized course on technological entrepreneurship in biomedicine and health technologies for inclusion in educational programs of medical, classical, and technical universities in Russia. Experts from leading universities, representatives of start-ups, foundations, large pharmaceutical companies, and the National Technology Initiative markets — Healthnet and Neuronet participated in developing and verifying the course materials.

The course included both topics that are necessary for application in any entrepreneurial project, as well as specialized issues related to the characteristics of the healthcare industry, due to the duration and complexity of the technological cycle of product development, the need for multiphase clinical trials of drugs and medical devices, as well as the nuances of state and international regulation.

In the 2020–2021 academic year, the course on developing medical tech entrepreneurship will be implemented in more than ten universities in Russia, including Siberian State Medical University, Samara State Medical University, NRNU MEPhI, etc. Students, masters, and graduate students in practical teamwork will develop their projects and study real examples in medicine, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.

Vadim Tarasov, Director of the Institute of Translational Medicine and Biotechnology, Sechenov University
Modern medical technologies and drugs, preventing the risks of developing diseases, preserve health and improve life quality. On the example of COVID-19, it has been proven that Russia is successfully producing high-quality, innovative medicines, original and generic drugs. The global pharmaceutical market is continually growing and is becoming one of the drivers of high-tech export-oriented industries — medicine and pharmaceuticals. These industries have high export potential and help to attract additional investment to the Russian Federation.

The training of teachers in connection with the restrictions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was held online, which did not prevent the course's primary specifics from being taken into account — its practical focus. More than 40 teachers from medical, classical, and technical universities from all over Russia took part in the educational program. For each topic, speakers-practitioners from business, venture capital funds, organizations performing preclinical and clinical research, which have practice in supporting projects in protecting intellectual property, representatives of universities actively implementing projects in the medical technology sector, and other industry participants were selected. Also, teamwork was organized to develop case studies in medical tech entrepreneurship. At the end of the training, the course's future teachers defended the developed cases before the experts, how students will do it.

Alexey Gusev, Director for Development of the RVC Innovation Ecosystem
For us, the introduction of such courses into the curricula of specialized universities is a vital ecosystem task to create the “basement” for the formation of future projects in the NTI Healthnet and Neuronet markets. The more student teams go through the MedTech entrepreneurship training course, the more they will gain motivation and experience to create more fulfilling projects in the future. Therefore, we need to have practical, project-based work within the training framework. And that is why it is so crucial for us that this training course, when implemented, does not end up in a separate “clean room” isolated from the rest of the educational space of the university, but that it is maximally integrated into interaction with laboratories, business incubators, and other university infrastructure.

The new RVC course on technological entrepreneurship in biomedicine and health technologies will be transferred to universities under a free license, following the example of the RVC “basic” course “Innovative Economics and Technological Entrepreneurship,” developed in 2017 by Moscow State University named after Lomonosov and ITMO University and implemented in 64 Russian universities. More than 16.5 thousand students have already completed the course.

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