Education and training are important aspects of biomedical research and development. As the landscape and the technologies are constantly changing, it is important that the training providers also adapt quickly. By bringing together industry and academic partners, EMTRAIN established a pan-European platform for education and training, covering the entire life cycle of medicines, from basic research, clinical tests and market authorisation to follow-up research of drugs already on the market. More specifically, the project strengthened cooperation among industry and academia, enabling faster implementation of new scientific and technological developments into academic teaching, and improving the mobility of professionals across disciplines, sectors and national borders.
The most comprehensive on-line catalogue in Europe
One of the main project achievements is on-course®, a comprehensive online course catalogue which covers everything that is taught in pharmaceutical medicine and sciences across Europe and neighbouring countries. The catalogue lists more than 8 000 different courses, ranging from one-day courses to PhD programmes. Free and easy to use, it allows users to search for courses by type (master, PhD, short course), schedule (full or part-time, modular), learning type (distance, face-to-face, mixed), language, location, and scientific / therapeutic area. For each course, the catalogue provides a description, list of modules (if relevant), details of fees, contact information, and links to the course websites. It is continuously updated by course administrators and can be accessed for free. The portal is intended to become the reference platform for education and training in biomedical sciences, and will help ensure that the biomedical education and training landscape is geared towards keeping Europe at the forefront of research. It already has more than 100 000 users.
Creating a generation of industry-aware students
EMTRAIN also developed a workshop for PhD students to provide young researchers with a holistic understanding of medicines development and an insight into the pharmaceutical industry. This week-long workshop is creating a growing alumni network of industry-aware students, facilitating employment opportunities and strengthening cooperation between industry and academia.
Another project achievement is a LifeTrain, a community-based platform for life-long learning which brings together employers, course providers and students. The platform established the principles for mutually-recognised lifelong learning and developed competency profiles, assessment of competencies and recognition processes. The platform also enables students to adapt their training to industry needs, increasing their chances of employment; helps academia tailor their programmes according to real-time industry needs; and helps industry get access to professionals with specific training.
For the benefit of industry and academia
By participating in this project, the academic community learned more about how the industry works, enabling them to adapt their courses according to real-time industry needs. Thanks to this project, young PhD researchers also gained insights into career opportunities in the private sector.
Industry partners benefitted by gaining access to industry-aware professionals with specific training tailored to their needs. Furthermore, EMTRAIN’s framework for competency development allows better comparability of job profiles, supporting the mobility of professionals in this field. Last but not least, the on-course® catalogue gives industry easy access to continuous professional development courses which are not covered by companies’ own training activities, saving time and resources.
Finally, the project strengthened the pan-European community of scientists in medicines development, benefitting both the industry and academia.
Even though the project ended, most of its tools and platforms continue to operate.
- The LifeTrain concept and framework has been taken up by one of the project partners, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. Its work continues through workshops and conferences.
- The PhD course has been taken up by the Horizon 2020 project C-COMEND and is being further optimised as part of this project.
- The on-course® platform continues to operate in the context of other Horizon 2020 projects (e.g. RITrain).
Read the interview with project coordinators