Promoting Entrepreneurial Competence of Postdocs

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No 208/2018 from Aug 07, 2018

Freie Universität Berlin has joined an international network that informs postdoctoral researchers about alternatives to careers at a university and offers opportunities for qualification. Postdoc-to-Innovators (p2i) 2017 was founded jointly by the University of Cambridge, the University of Glasgow, the University of Innsbruck, and Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, as well as the companies AstraZeneca, Schlumberger, BP, and Shell. The coordinator at Freie Universität Berlin is Hannes Rothe at the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub of the School of Business and Economics.

The p2i network aims to give young scholars and scientists exposure to entrepreneurial thinking and acting and to communicate related skills. This takes place in exchange with representatives from various companies, the financial sector, and successful founders from all over Europe. In qualification and mentoring courses, postdocs can gain an overview of alternatives to careers at a university and have an opportunity to prepare for them within a structured program. In addition, p2i includes a program for testing a spin-off with the participant’s own ideas. "Acquiring entrepreneurial skills not only simplifies a potential change to the business sector," says Hannes Rothe from the School of Business and Economics at Freie Universität Berlin, "but it can also benefit an academic career."

Organized by partner universities in Paris, Innsbruck, and Cambridge, Postdocs-to-Innovators hosted several corporate fairs this year. Another is scheduled for this November in Glasgow. Information about future events can be obtained from a newsletter ( www.tinyurl.com/postdoc-news ) or the website of the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub: www.de-hub.org. The Digital Entrepreneurship Hub is based at Freie Universität Berlin as a center for research and teaching about entrepreneurship.

In 2017 Freie Universität Berlin already participated in the p2i network as part of the Berlin Science Week, where about 50 postdoctoral researchers exchanged views with partners from business and politics on the topic "Digital Startup Ecosystem." Recently, p2i was described in the journal Nature by the university network League of European Research Universities as an innovative example for the development of cooperation between universities and companies.