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Entrepreneurship training - JRC concludes pilot programme

The first training programme in entrepreneurship for researchers at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) concluded with a ceremony on 15 July 1999. Herbert Allgeier, the JRC's Director General presented the twenty participants with a certificate honouring thei...
The first training programme in entrepreneurship for researchers at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) concluded with a ceremony on 15 July 1999. Herbert Allgeier, the JRC's Director General presented the twenty participants with a certificate honouring their spirit and commitment, following 200 hours of training over a six-month period.

Mr Allgeier emphasised that this programme, specifically designed for scientists and engineers at a public research institute, was a pioneering action for both the participants and the JRC. He recalled the objectives of the training programme (to provide short-term staff with skills for new career paths, foster spin-offs, promote entrepreneurial attitudes and professional management techniques within the JRC) and said he was pleased with the positive feedback from the participants.

The training programme consisted of 18 workshops held mostly on Fridays and Saturdays. It started with several workshops on general management (interpersonal and project management) and continued with modules designed to accompany business planning (feasibility and market analysis, legal aspects, product development and operations, financial planning). Key aspects of the training included its practical focus, interactive training methods, and emphasis on project management techniques. The trainers were business professionals (lawyers, institutional investors, etc.) and specialists from universities.

Already at the end of the training programme, one participant is starting up a company and several business plans are in preparation. Furthermore, other participants have received excellent job offers from industry.

This training programme is part of an overall effort at the JRC to foster technology transfer, also encompassing seed capital funding and incubation mechanisms. Building on this first experience, the entrepreneurship training curriculum will be repeated at the JRC, and the experience may also serve in communicating best practices in other areas of the Commission.

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