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Biocon Academy: Bridging the Gap between Academia and Biotech Industry

Like most freshers, after completing her M.Sc. in Microbiology, Sweety Mondal was applying for jobs at various companies but never heard back from anyone. She knew something was missing and her search for industry oriented training programs led her to Biocon Academy. It was only after joining the academy that she found out there was a huge gap between what is being taught in colleges and what the industry expects from freshers.

This is not just true in Sweety’s case, but is evident across the country. The evolving biotech sector is increasing the demand for high-skilled jobs in India and thus, resulting in the huge gap between the quality of human capital available and the needs of the industry. This talent deficit is being addressed by Biocon Academy by developing industry ready human capital for Biotech and Biopharma sectors, and enabling fresh talents and prepping them for global competitiveness.

Pharma and Biopharma industries are under tremendous pressure of bringing out the superior quality drugs to the market in the shortest period of time with the least expense incurred. Under this pressure, organizations would prefer hiring a professional with hands-on experience and avoid the time spent on training a fresher to get the desired outcome.

Students who join Biocon Academy come from a complete academic background. It is at the academy that they learn how to convert this theoretical knowledge into practical and application based perspective. Aruna from the 1st batch of Quality Control Analytical said, “The real-world touch made me understand the pros and cons of working in QC and QA department. The hands-on experience at IIT Bombay by Thermo Fisher was extensive, detailed and very informative.”

Along with this practical knowledge, Biocon Academy curriculum also aims at improving soft skills in students and help them kick-start their career. Talking about the soft skills’ learning that happens at the academy, a student from the 4th batch of Microbiology Program, Diya Deb said, “Everyday presentations, group discussions and team building activities honed our skills in body language, email etiquettes and made us completely industry ready.”

Biocon Academy, the brain child of our Chief Mentor Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and a CSR wing of Biocon, was started with the primary objective of making the students industry ready and enhance their employability. And in-turn expanding the trained talent pool, resulting in the overall development of this fast growing sector. Biocon Academy has leveraged rich industry experience of experts like Narayana Hrudayalaya, Thermo Fisher and Biozeen, and combined it with academic knowledge of national and international academic partners like Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), BITS Pilani and Ramaiah College of Arts, Science & Commerce to empower recent life science graduates.

One of the main reasons why freshers find it difficult to gain direct employment in the industry is the lack of hands-on experience. It is this need that Biocon Academy has understood and met by incorporating hands-on training in the pedagogy of all its courses. Training related to Bio Manufacturing and Quality Control Microbiology are offered at Biozeen, and Molecular Biology Techniques and Advanced Analytical Instrumentation are offered at Thermo Fisher. It is this foundation of strong application based theory along with experiential learning at Biocon Group companies and the hands-on training that prepares students for the industry job.

Biocon Academy’s job placement spans across the entire Bioscience segment with 100% track record not just in Biocon Group of Companies but also other organisations along with start-ups in varied Pharma, Biopharma, Contract Research, Manufacturing, & Bioscience Service and Information Service sectors.

In addition to getting students industry-ready, Biocon Academy also works to train faculties through their Faculty Development Program (FDP), making them “industry-aware”, upskilling them with practical knowledge and helping them in their process of teaching. Sharing his experience, Dr. Santosh Anand from the 3rd batch of the program said, “FDP enhanced my industrial skills. The learning exposure that I received during the 2 weeks of practical and theoretical learning helped me to design my classes in a well-structured manner”.

The rigorous academic learning is well balanced with soft learning lessons of gratitude. Every batch of each course has a scheduled visit to an NGO in Huskur to inculcate the habit of giving back to the society. With this holistic model of learning, we enable students to reach out to each aspect of education and keep themselves updated with every single happening in the society and industry. Our belief in constant learning drives us to frequently improve existing programs, modernize the existing curriculum with POSH Training and Design Thinking, and enable better learning processes.

Our mission to get students industry-ready has helped Sweety Mondal who currently works in QCMB Department of Biocon. Similarly, this determination of Biocon Academy has helped realize professional aspirations of over 800 students by getting them placed across Biotech industries.

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