Our Career Pathways - Industry Winter Series features speakers from different branches of the pharmaceutical industry and gives participants an opportunity to hear about different job options as well as ask questions about the transition process. 

The third speaker in the series was Professor Jörg-M. Hollidt, Managing Director of in.vent Diagnostica and Chairman of the DiagnostikNet-BB  board   (an industry-driven association with more than 70 companies and research institutes).  
Jörg discussed the lesser-known career options for postdocs and PhDs moving to a career in industry and the benefits of joining the DiagnostikNet-BB association. One major emphasis was the importance of diagnostics to cure diseases, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The MDC has recently become a member of the DiagnostikNet-BB and is developing close ties with members of the association. 


Career options beyond the lab


 “Trained scientists are needed in positions outside of the lab”


Jörg emphasized that trained scientists do not need to limit their expectations to jobs within the laboratory. He highlighted in particular the professions of Business Development Manager, Quality Manager and Sales manager. These positions require different skills and different styles and paces of working, but all necessitate a high level of technical understanding about the field and medical need, which PhDs and postdocs possess. Several of these pipetting-free positions can be found on the constantly curated DiagnostikNet-BB Career page.


“Team fit is important”


A common theme from the speakers in the industry series this far has been the importance of team fit. Jörg’s experience is no different. He suggested that small gaps in technical knowledge can be overlooked if the person is the right match. When applying for jobs he encourages you to show the company what type of person you are. One important advice to make the transition easier was also to engage in trainings that demonstrate an interest in a non-academic path (such as the ASPIRE Industry track). The companies within the network are not only looking for well-qualified employees, but also individuals who fit well with the company and develop an understanding of the development process of a diagnostic: an innovation is only an innovation if it reaches the patient. Once employed by the company, further career development trainings are also made available. 



Applied research close to industry


“The total is bigger than the single parts”


The DiagnostikNet-BB, created in 2007, bundles the interests of highly innovative medium-sized companies and internationally renowned research institutes from all areas of in-vitro diagnostics. The priority was not to create the biggest network possible, but rather to get complimentary members who can build cross company networks and collaborative partnerships. The network has now expanded beyond its original target area of Berlin-Brandenburg to other German states, Switzerland and France, representing over 70 members.


“Diagnostic inventions become diagnostic innovations”


The scope of the network is wide ranging, with one of the key elements being to support bringing ideas to a prototype, to the reality of treating patients and identifying diseases. The network also acts as a think tank for in-vitro diagnostics and sustainable technology transfer from research institutes to industry.


DiagnostikNet-BB has many networking and educational events open to its members. There is a focus on a trustful and open exchange between companies in the network and support to help connect with people working in similar challenges. The DiagnostikNet-BB webpage is a great resource to understand the wide range of opportunities in this sector. In addition, the network has other important partners in the regions such as the Life Science Cluster Oberhavel (LSC), that offer excellent opportunities to MDC scientists.



The MDC looks forward to working with the DiagnostikNet-BB in the future and building a long-lasting partnership. Among other things, the series of lectures will be continued, initially still digitally, and later also as part of events organized by the LSC on site.





Coming next in the Winter Industry Series


31 March
Christiane Alexander
Director, Business Development & Client Management Europe at CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services 


21 April
Robert Berger
Head of Laboratory Quality Control at Bayer Bitterfeld 



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