Helping Elite Athletes Become Entrepreneurs

The Athletes as Entrepreneurs (AtLAS) training programme is a fantastic opportunity for high-level athletes who want to learn about starting a business in just five weeks. And it’s free!

The online course taught via MOOC starts on the 17th of January and will finish on the 20th of February. Attendees will learn about entrepreneurship through five modules and be supported by business experts and athlete entrepreneurs who will act as mentors. ENU lecturer, Dr Tom Campbell expressed his enthusiasm about the programme: “We are very excited to be able to offer this innovative new course to elite athletes considering a future in entrepreneurship. The training programme will be delivered in collaboration with experts from across Europe and is underpinned by research led by the team here at ENU”.

AtLAS is a flexible and hands-on course that is tailored to the specific needs of elite athletes with the single aim of upgrading their entrepreneurial skills, enabling them to develop viable business ideas. According to Dr Susan Brown from the School of Applied Sciences, the programme gives sportspeople the chance to acquire the competencies necessary for a business career: “The course provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop skills for the future while simultaneously building an entrepreneurial network”.

The programme is open to all athletes who are current or former national or international level competitors. Click here for more information and to sign up for the course.

The five modules will cover theory and practice in the following areas: the entrepreneurial individual, basic skills for entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial thinking & mindset, entrepreneurial process, founding a company. Upon completion, participants will receive an AtLAS training certificate that is worth 1 ECTS credit.

School joins new UK Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network

A new national training centre in Scotland is to help drive development of opportunities emerging in vaccine manufacturing, as well as cell and gene therapy.

It is one of new three UK training centres that together form The Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN).

All partners in the Network will now work collaboratively to address a skills gap first identified two years ago. In 2019, The Skills Demand Survey conducted by the UK government’s Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult found rising concern among vaccine manufacturers and Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) companies about their ability to recruit and retain skilled talent in the UK.

In fact, 83% of companies were concerned about their ability to capitalise on emerging opportunities, because skills anticipated to be essential were – at that time – missing.

Created as a direct response, ATSTN is being backed by £4.7m from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK (IUK). Activity across all the UK partners will be coordinated by the CGT Catapult.

In Scotland, the Network’s delivery is being led by RoslinCT –  a cell and gene therapy/ATMP Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) – via the RoslinCT Training Academy and The School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University. Other delivery partners are North Ayrshire College, IBioIC, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Universities Life Science Alliance and Scottish Enterprise.

“The ATSTN is a truly collaborative initiative, developed by industry in partnership with academia, and the expertise from all three centres will create a wealth of learning resources,” said Professor Gary Hutchison, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences. “Development and delivery of our own courses for the National Training Centre is testament to the work we have been doing here at Edinburgh Napier over the last decade; delivering graduates who are work-ready and have the expertise and skills to enable the therapies of the future, including new vaccines.”

Professor Gary Hutchison.

The Training Centre now aims to have its first ‘blended-learning’ courses available for delivery in Scotland by the end of 2021. Face-to-face content will be delivered at RoslinCT’s Edinburgh campus at their newly built state of the art facility.,

“We are delighted to lead the Scottish training centre,” said Janet Downie, Chief Executive at RoslinCT. “With the tremendous growth opportunities in both ATMP and vaccine manufacturing, we are all looking forward to working with The National Horizons Centre and the University of Birmingham  to deliver this UK-wide training service.”

With their complementary capabilities and vast wealth of experience across GMP/GxP, manufacturing and bioprocessing, all three centres will deliver a range of specialist courses to upskill industry professionals. Further information can be obtained by contacting Nathan Barnett, Project Co-ordinator, Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN).

ENDS