(MENAFN- Andrew Lloyd & Associates) With the support of the Walloon government and private companies, the public-private consortium "Talent Now " will pave the way for EU Biotech Campus, which will open in Gosselies in 2025 activities in Wallonia
Gosselies, Belgium, May 4, 2022 – BioWin, the health cluster of Wallonia, today announces the launch of `Talent Now', a new initiative aimed at addressing recruitment challenges in the biotech and medtech industry in Belgium. For the first time, public and private players are joining forces to meet the specific and urgent needs of companies seeking to recruit talent in the biotechnology and health technology sectors.
Partners in this unique initiative include leading private companies GSK, UCB, Univercells, ThermoFisher, Takeda and Janssen. The project also benefits from the support of the Walloon Government, represented by Christie Morreale, Vice-President of the Walloon Government and Minister of Employment, Training and Health and Willy Borsus, Vice-President of Wallonia and Minister of Economy, Research and Innovation.
“We are delighted that this initiative allows fruitful collaboration between clusters, leading companies and public players in the region.It has become essential for life science sectors such as biomanufacturing and cell and gene therapies to inform, attract and retain expert talent while enabling continuous learning to maintain our global competitiveness,” said Christie Morreale, vice-president of the Walloon government.
“Our ambition is to collaborate at national and European level to find immediate solutions to the shortage of talent in the life sciences industry. It is time to give it a strategic impetus to support innovative Walloon healthtech companies and our economic growth by hiring expert talent, and continue to strengthen the Belgian biopharmaceutical ecosystem”, explained the Vice-President of Wallonia and Minister Economy, Research and Innovation.
The "Talent Now" project is based on the results of a quantitative and qualitative study, carried out by BioWin in 2019 and 2020, on the needs of biopharma, medical technology and data science companies.The results of the study highlight the shortage of very diverse profiles at different levels of study (master's and bachelor's) in large, medium and small companies. Specific roles in high demand include scientists, project managers, engineers, production technicians, operators and developers.
With the Covid-19 crisis, the need for these profiles has increased, particularly in bioproduction and R&D. One of the report's eight recommendations is to develop a dedicated expert consortium such as 'Talent Now'.
Main results of the study
Around 2,400 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs were needed to meet the need for talent in the biopharmaceutical and medtech sectors for the period 2020-2023. The need for 800 FTEs per year is still there with the Covid-19 crisis and its consequences
50% of required jobs are in biomanufacturing
30 to 40% of jobs are in R&D activities, which indicates a strong development potential in the sector
A unique initiative in the health technology sector to meet the challenges of tomorrow's talents
The three-year project has three main objectives:
Develop a talent recruitment strategy/increase the pool of available talent (retraining, mobilization of atypical profiles, recruitment abroad, etc.)
Centralize recruitment and industry development requests and develop hiring and training solutions with companies, operators and the network
Increase synergies between players in the field of continuing education, such as aptaskil (Senneffe and Liège), Biotech GIGA, Forem, IFAPME, HeLSci and others to stimulate and strengthen collaboration
Philippe Denoel, President of BioWin, said: "The 'Talent Now' project will pave the way for the launch of the EU Biotech Campus in 2025. With these two ambitious initiatives, I am convinced that our industry will be able to meet the challenge of finding the right skills and develop our talent pool to contribute to the development of new innovative health solutions and support our ambition for growth and our competitiveness.
The consortium will collaborate with Forem, the Public Employment and Vocational Training Service of Wallonia (Belgium) and the “Wallonia Competence for the Future” initiative, regional training operators and the European Biotech Campus. Some of the planned activities include:
Several communication campaigns to promote the attractiveness of the biotech and medtech sectors to job seekers
Identification of candidates from other sectors likely to be trained in life sciences professions via transferable skills
The use of modern approaches and technologies such as Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) to accelerate learning
The European Biotechnology Campus will open in 2025 to develop health technology talent to support start-ups and scale-ups
The EU Biotech Campus (EBC) should be operational in Gosselies (Charleroi, Belgium) by 2025. It is a new professional training center and multi-operator and multi-partner business accelerator on the campus dedicated to the development of talents, skills and companies in the biotechnology and health sectors. It offers state-of-the-art infrastructure and services made available to students and job seekers, academics, spin-offs, start-ups, scale-ups and multinationals. This inclusive project aims to welcome training providers and business accelerators in a flagship one-stop-shop framework.Together, they will develop relevant training programs for job seekers, workers and students, as well as accelerating the activity of start-ups and spin-offs (SMEs). This model aims to develop skills while promoting entrepreneurship.
The EU Biotech Campus project is developed by Didier Malherbe, president of BCI-Pharma and vice-president of the Union Wallonne des Entreprises (UWE), and by bio.be/essenscia, the federation representing the biotechnology and science industry of life in Belgium. BioWin sits on the board of directors.The objective is to set up state-of-the-art infrastructures, to attract the best Belgian and foreign experts and to offer suitable infrastructures so that a wide range of partners can offer their services.
BioWin is the health cluster of Wallonia, Belgium, the regional reference for all actors in research and innovation projects in health, biotech and medtech. It comprises 250 members from the private, public and academic sectors.
Its mission is to accelerate innovation to meet the public health challenges of tomorrow and to develop the knowledge, employment and competitiveness of all players in the health sector ecosystem by bringing together all players in the health sector. innovation in the field of life sciences in Wallonia, with the aim of stimulating regional economic redeployment. The cluster also participates in the implementation of the sector's industrial policy (innovation and industrial research, training, support for business growth); developing and anchoring skills, knowledge and jobs.
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