What is Bioenterprise?


As the name suggests, the term “bioenterprise” refers to any business that has been created from biological materials and products. Nature has provided us with several resources, and any business that processes, sells, or markets these resources can be called a bioenterprise. The most common examples of bioenterprise are oil and gas companies that power various crucial systems in our life.

Scientists and technologists are constantly working at discovering new minerals and resources that can help us fulfill human needs. In recent times, there has also been a surge in biotech companies, that combine technology and natural resources to produce new innovations.

Notably, a number of inventions in the biotech space come from academic institutions. The Bayh-Dole Act passed in 1980 in the U.S. has helped academics patent their inventions and attract venture capital to fund their businesses. Today, there are several biotech hubs in universities in San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston.

The following article takes a look at the applications of bioenterprise, careers in the field, and courses that one can complete. While BioEnterprise is also a company, that is not the focus of the piece.

Applications of Bioenterprise

Bioenterprises have applications in many essential fields such as healthcare, agriculture, biodegradable products, and environmental preservation. Here are a few common fields where bioenterprises can be found:

  • Pharmaceuticals: Several biopharmaceutical drugs can be developed using microorganisms, without any synthetic materials. These drugs are now being developed to cure diseases such as cancer and hepatitis.
  • Agriculture: Biotechnology can be used to alter the genes of crops and ensure that they give good quality produce. Gene therapy can be used to enhance various features of crops and make them more productive.
  • Biofuels: Biofuels such as bio-ethanol can be used for energy production, electricity generation, and transportation. These reduce the strain on scarce resources such as fossil fuels.
  • Food processing: The process of fermentation is used to produce additives, preservatives, and foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, and cheese. These foods are high in nutrition and have a standard process of production, using different microorganisms.

Specializations in Bioenterprise

Those with an inclination toward bioenterprise can specialize in myriad areas such as:

  • Health Sciences: This deals with pharmaceuticals and using biotechnology to develop health-related innovations.
  • Enterprise and Regulatory Affairs: This specialization encompasses the policies, regulations, and legal and ethical aspects of running a bioenterprise. Students can also expect to learn about how to gain funding, risk assessment, and project management.
  • Laboratory Testing: Those choosing this specialization can expect to work in a laboratory examining cell cultures, studying infectious diseases, immunology, and bioprocessing.
  • Biostatistics: This area deals with statistical analysis as well as the design of different experiments. Candidates can expect to conduct advanced research and analyze results.
  • Bioentrepreneurship: For those interested in handling the business side of a bioenterprise, bioentrepreneurship provides them with knowledge of how to get funding for an enterprise, how to promote an enterprise, and how to lead teams in a bioenterprise.
  • Biotechnology: This area focuses on biochemistry, molecular genetics, and cell biology.

Coursework in Bioenterprise Degree Programs

In order to run a bioenterprise, one must have the necessary knowledge of science as well as the legal and regulatory matters associated with running a business. There are various degree programs that focus on bioenterprise, providing students not just with the required scientific know-how but also business and entrepreneurship chops.

Here are two exceptional bioenterprise degree programs for students interested in the field:

Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology and Bioenterprise, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University

This 120 credit-hour program provides students with a unique blend of biotechnological knowledge and entrepreneurship skills. It offers three specializations: bioentrepreneurship, biotechnology, and biostatistics. Students can expect to gain a thorough understanding of biology, chemistry, and genetics in this on-campus program.

  • Courses: General organic chemistry, the fundamentals of genetics, understanding the enterprise, general biology
  • Tuition: $616 per credit-hour for residents, $909 per credit-hour for non-residents

Master of Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, John Hopkins University

This distance-based program is ideal for scientists and entrepreneurs who wish to gain in-depth knowledge of managing a bio-powered enterprise. A majority of the courses in the program are offered online, while some of them are offered on-campus.

The curriculum includes ten courses in total. Apart from theoretical knowledge of health sciences and laboratory skills, the coursework also helps students develop funding strategies, leadership, and research skills. Students learn about the regulatory aspects of starting a bioenterprise and the policies that govern the field.

  • Courses: Bioethics, leading biotechnology professionals, research ethics, marketing aspects of biotechnology
  • Tuition: $4,499 per course

Careers in Bioenterprise

Once students have completed coursework in a bioenterprise degree program, they can expect to work in various roles related to biotech. One option is for them to start their own bioenterprise. If not, they can also work in other roles in fields such as healthcare, environmental biotech, and agriculture.

Graduates can use resources such as Biotechnology Industry Organization and Science Careers to find jobs in biotech and bioenterprise. Some of the roles they can expect to take up include cell biologist, bioscientist, microbiologist, regulatory affairs manager, laboratory researcher, and patent agent.