Expobiotec is a series of seminars with the goal to engage students and companies in the field of biotechnology, as well as disseminate CEB research
Expobiotec is a research and technological dissemination activity where key speakers in the field of Biological Engineering and Biotechnology are invited to give a lecture to undergraduate and graduation students. As a side event, high school students are invited to visit Centre of Biological Engineering – CEB laboratories, where CEB researchers give a series of pitch presentations of the most relevant works developed in the research centre.
Expobiotec is organized at an annual basis by CEB, together with the Biological Engineering students’ association, usually with a duration of 3 days.
The first day is normally reserved for high school students. The 2nd and 3rd days are focused on lectures from relevant stakeholders in the areas of Environmental, Industrial, Food and Health Biotechnology, including entrepreneurs, industrialists, academics, alumni, investors, associations that promote the employment and entrepreneurship, among others. The main objective of Expobiotec is to reduce the distance between students and companies and to promote the employment.
The main stakeholders are public and private companies in Portugal, especially the ones from Norte region, while the beneficiaries are high school and undergraduate students.
Four senior researchers and volunteers from the Biological Engineering Student’s Association. The main costs are travel costs for speakers and high school students, lunch and coffee-breaks, poster printings. Costs are normally covered by the CEB PhD programmes, sponsorships from private companies.
Evidence of success
EXPOBIOTEC 2020 will be the 9th edition of this event. Every year, circa 150 students participate in the event. During the past edition, 33 companies were present at Expobiotec and several speed business meetings between companies and graduation students took place (~15 speed meetings per student). The majority of the participating companies end up offering internships to graduation students.
Besides in 2018 and 2019 editions more than 300 secondary students visited University of Minho.
The main challenges faced are the engagement of the private companies and graduation students to be present at event, as well as the students drop out before it ends. To avoid this, in 2019, students payed a symbolic fee and the presence certificate was only delivered at the end of Expobiotec.
Potential for learning or transfer
The success of past editions of Expobiotec warrants a repetition of this best practice, and led us to think that this activity, within the knowledge triangle, has great potential to be reproduced in other European Regions. The involvement of undergraduate students in the organization, and the speed business meetings between students and companies, actively contribute for increasing the employability of students. The visits of high school students at CEB also represent a great opportunity for the dissemination of graduations in the field of biotechnology. Thus, we believe that this activity has enormous potential to be reproduced, promoting the training of young students in areas related to Water and Water Technology.
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