Economy and Management in Biotechnology


About this course

The biotechnology companies needs people who take decisions on when and how to make a business of a scientific novelty developed in the lab. This course teaches you how to make such decisions for bulk products and high-value products.
The course consists of a financial, an entrepreneurial and an economic and managerial parts whose focus are:

  • Economic potential of a new biotechnology product/process in the current biotech market
  • Entrepreneurial approach to the creation, development and validation of business propositions in the Biotech sector
  • The business/organizational structure to design and develop a novel biotechnology process/product at industrial scale

In the first part, you learn how to model the business behind a biotechnological product. The theory comprises three aspects:

  • Analyse the effect of the production scale and of the production factors on cost analysis of the bioprocess in your company
  • Analyse the financial aspect of your company: cash-flow analysis, funding, debt, stocks, product portfolio
    In the second part, you learn how to get in the market phase. This boils down to
  • Insight on Entrepreneurial skills, tools and strategies to build a profitable and sustainable business in the biotech sector
  • Knowledge on key milestones and decision points for developing a feasible business proposition
    In the third part, you learn how to consolidate the role of your company/business in the biotech market. This brings you into:
  • Analyse the behavior of market stakeholders other than your company, such as potential competitors and customers, as well the government and society
  • Designing the management structure of the business behind a biotechnological innovation both at small and at large industrial/market scale

This course is meant as a necessary step a series of bioprocess engineering courses at MSc level towards scaling a relevant industrial scale. The required knowledge is:

  • Knowledge and skills from bioprocess engineering design courses such as BPE20306 Bioreactor Design, BPE-20806 Separation Process Design, or similar courses
  • Knowledge skills from math courses such as MAT14903 Mathematics 1 and MAT15003 Mathematics 2 or similar courses. In particular it is required proficiency in analysing and solving math problems involving sets of algebraic and ordinary differential equations.
  • Proficiency in team-working and report/plan writing
    This course provides the needed support for the design cases in BCT-32306 Advanced Biorefinery, and for BPE-60312 Bioprocess Design.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Apply to a biotech business the principles of cost and profit analysis, microeconomic analysis of markets, entrepreneurial tools and management analysis
  • Analyse the financial structure of biotechnology companies
  • Analyse the role of the market stakeholders (companies, clients, government) in the biotechnology sector
  • Design a simple marketing and pricing strategy for both novel and well-established biotechnological products
  • Apply state-of-art business and revenue models for different product / service combinations and the necessary skills and tools to do so
  • Develop a feasible business proposition to initiate, manage and commercialise biotechnological products/services at to the most suitable industrial scale

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
Bachelor in Biotechnology, Biobased Science or Economic field including quantitative courses regarding general principle of bioprocess design

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      25 October 2024
    • Term *
      Period 1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 4 Aug 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University