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Biochemical Society SME Survey Appendices

Appendix 1 Questionnaire for the Biochemical Society survey of the views of members in Small Manufacturing Enterprises (SMEs)

Personal information

Your name:
Principal qualification:
Company name:

You and the Biochemical Society

1. Do you still consider yourself to be a biochemist? Y / N;
2. What was your main reason for joining the Society?
3. What are the main benefits for you now of being a member?
4. Do you attend Biochemical Society meetings? Y / N;
5. If so, how many each year, on average?
Which topics attract you?
6. Would you find it useful if the Society organized focused Workshops on particular aspects of biotechnology, with the aim of promoting networks between SMEs, universities, and potential suppliers/customers? Y / N;
7. Would you find it a useful source of contacts if the Society was able to establish a web directory of the interests and expertise of academic biocientists? Y / N;
8. What other activities could the Society undertake that would be of benefit to biochemists in SMEs?
9. Have you ever had contact with the Industrial Biochemistry and Biotechnology Group (IBBG) of the Biochemical Society? Y / N;
10. If yes, was it useful? Y / N;
11. If no, would you like details of the IBBG activities? Y / N;
12. Any other information or views:

You and your company
13. What is your current role within the company?
14. What is your company's main business area?
15. What are the main biochemical/biotechnological interests of your company?
16. How many staff in total does your company employ? 0-5 Y / N ; 6-10 Y / N ; 11-50 Y / N ; 51 and above Y / N
17. How many biochemists does your company employ?
a) graduates
b) postdocs
18. Is your company happy with the preparation for industry that biochemists receive from the education system? Y / N
19. If not, what additional training for industry should they receive?
20. How does your company train and develop staff?
21. Does your company collaborate with any of the following? Other companies Y / N;
universities Y / N;
government laboratories Y / N;
Research Council institutes Y / N;
other (please specify) Y / N
22. What are the most important benefits of the collaborations above?
23. Does your company have contacts with the government's Biotechnology Directorate, or participate in any of its initiatives? If so, please identify the type of contact and the principal benefits
24. Are you aware of the government's Foresight initiative? Y / N
25. How do you and your company maintain awareness of developments in your scientific area(s) of interest?
26. What are the major factors affecting the development of your company?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this form.

Appendix 2 Comments made by respondents who supported the concept that the Society should run focused biotechnology workshops to aid networking

On topics for workshops
Process design and validation
Protein bioinformatics
Aspects of quality control
Protein purification
Protein interactions and stability
Applications of new technologies to drug discovery
Anything relevant to vaccine development

Cautionary comments
From my own experience, it is difficult to put programmes together that interest sufficient people. Local ones offer most value.

There may not be two-way communication because of company confidentiality.

Topics must be very relevant to justify small companies attending.

General comments
Most meetings are too academic for us.

Similar workshops are organised by organizations in Licensing.

It is always good to increase links with academia.

Useful for networking, and increasing links with government and academic research.

Low cost workshops would be very useful for those involved in biotechnology within Europe.

Would help promote collaborations.

Useful for techniques networking.

A good idea because those working for small companies can become isolated from their peers and others in their specialist area of knowledge.

Appendix 3 Comments made by respondents on the concept of the Society establishing a web directory of the interests and expertise of academic bioscientists

By those in support (27)
Provide a listing of those interested in collaborating or providing reagents.

Would be useful for establishing collaborations.

Would be valuable for consultancies.

Would be useful to know the biotech connections of those listed.

Should include equipment availability and membership of learned societies.

Useful source of advice when starting new projects.

It would also benefit the academics.

A single source of such information would save a lot of time.

Would help us target information to the right people (an equipment supplier).

From experience, many academics on such databases may be willing to help in principle, but not in practice.

Note that much similar information is available from several sources.

By those against (4)
Contacts can be identified from the literature and by attending conferences.

There are already many databases with this type of information.

I would be reluctant to contact someone I had not met.

I would not need it personally.

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