students at conference tableUWindsor students meet colleagues from England’s Oxford Brookes University to collaborate on a semester-long commercialization project.

Visiting bioscience students get down to business

A unique collaboration between the Odette School of Business and Oxford Brookes University of Oxford, U.K., combines bioscience and business skills to bring innovations to market.

A group of science students and faculty from Oxford Brookes University arrived in Windsor on Monday and met their local counterparts Tuesday. They will spend the semester developing plans to commercialize four scientific advances ranging from bio-fuel to vaccines.

While most of the work will be done via electronic communications, a site visit like the current one, with tours of Windsor-Essex agricultural and industrial facilities, helps to enhance the experience.

“During the face-to-face meetings, students will get to know each other, and the Odette students will more easily understand the biosciences they are to commercialize,” says Francine Schlosser, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre). “It is a great challenge to have them collaborate across two different disciplines, two different universities, two different countries.”

Visiting student Rachel Vowden says the course will give her a chance to show what she can do.

“Majoring in human biology, I would never be exposed to the business side,” she says. “This experience will be valuable if I want to open my own business or work in management.”

Additionally, she notes, a trip to Canada has long been on her “bucket list.” Only one day in the country, and she has already noticed one big difference.

“Everything is huge,” says Vowden.” There is so much space compared to home.”

The group will tour the Windsor Chrysler assembly plant, Pelee Island Winery, Aphria greenhouses, the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, and engineering professor Ming Zheng’s biodiesel laboratory.

Learn more about the program on the EPICentre website.

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