Supporting entrepreneurial life science students at Vilnius University, Lithuania

Since 2015, life science students from Vilnius University (VU) have participated very successfully in the iGEM innovation competition. At iGEM, an annual event in Boston, US, selected student teams from universities around the world compete with innovative solutions in synthetic biology. The main driver for participation was a renowned professor from the University’s Institute of Biotechnology. VU supports the iGEM student teams and their innovative and entrepreneurial activities through finance and the opportunity to use laboratories and meeting rooms. Entrepreneurship education is not part of the students’ studies – they learn how to act innovatively while preparing the targets and methods for their contribution to the competition. Taking part in the competition has had considerable impact on the mindset of students, of the research community, and of the University’s executives who now appreciate such ways to tackle scientific challenges and act entrepreneurially. Moreover, taking part in the competition has also had tangible outcomes in terms of a spin-off enterprise: In 2018, students who participated in iGEM founded the company Biomatter Designs based on one of the innovative solutions.

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Submitted on:
23 Mar 2023