The San Diego Biotechnology Network was formed in order to serve local life scientists, professionals and organizations and to help the region to not only grow, but thrive. Towards this end, we are working with UCSD Extension to provide customized education to meet the needs of the region. Based on overwhelming demand, UCSD Extension’s first offering on partnering with the SDBN will be the Biotech/Pharma Manager’s Toolkit beginning January 2015.
UCSD Extension is the the most complete source of accredited life science continuing education in the region. The public course offerings are extensive and tailored to the region, see the online listing by clicking here. UCSD Extension also offers customized courses through its Corporate Education arm, normally at companies with a minimum attendance of 15. Because more than 50% of San Diego biotech companies have fewer than 50 employees, it makes it difficult for most companies to use this valuable service. Our approach in helping UCSD Extension better meet the needs of the region is to understand which of their courses are most in demand, and then we can customize them for individual groups. Towards this end, we ran a survey of SDBN members in the summer of 2014 to determine their needs. More than 120 local life science professionals participated, and we found that 32.9% anticipate needing training in the next 6 months. We also found that survey respondents indicated the most interest in UCSD Extension Courses covering the following areas:
- Project and people management
- Biomarkers, In vitro diagnostics
- Regulatory affairs, requirements, and compliance
- Quality Assurance/Control
- Drug Discovery, Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
- Intellectual property and innovative technologies
Based on these results, we are planning SDBN events and accompanying custom UCSD Extension offerings, and we began with the Global Biotech Project Management event in November. Per the survey results, we saw enormous interest in the event, with the highest SDBN website traffic for one day in our history on the day we announced the event. We polled the event participants and found that many were interested in a customized biotech project management (PM) course.
Based on this feedback, UCSD Extension’s first custom offering will be the Biotech/Pharma Project Manager’s Toolkit beginning January 23rd 2015 taught by Yves Theriault, a panelist at the November SDBN event with 18 years of relevant PM experience. Yves, UCSD Extension Corporate Education Director Locke Epsten, and the SDBN developed the Toolkit based on SDBN members’ feedback. The Toolkit will provide essential core project management training as well as sessions on leadership, team building and communication skills, all crucial to success in biotech/pharma project management, learn more by clicking here.
Those who complete the Toolkit will earn 4 continuing education units (CEU’s) which can be applied to the UCSD Extension Project Management Certificate. The Toolkit will be a unique opportunity for local, face to face instruction on the topic, and the SDBN will facilitate networking among the group based on feedback from registrants. Initial networking ideas are exclusive happy hours for Toolkit participants and project management professionals and hiring managers. Our objective is not only to educate, but to ensure that the training results in participants reaching their goals.
The Toolkit will be offered on one Friday morning a week from January 23rd to April 3rd 2015. The idea is that Fridays are normally more “flexible” in scheduling. We hope that companies in the region will realize the importance of PM training and include this time and budget allowance for their employees in their 2015 planning or utilize 2014 tuition reimbursement funds while there is still time. The Toolkit will be offered at the UCSD Extension University City location, and we also envision carrying out training at local companies. If you’re interested in hosting a training on project management or on any of the topics mentioned above, contact us. It’s a great way to connect with the community and position your organization as a leader in the topic area. If you’d like to keep up with the courses we’ll be offering, sign up for the SDBN newsletter.