nl en

Discovering Life Science Companies



Admission requirements


Life Sciences is the exciting field of research that studies the life processes in organisms and cells. Life Science research has an enormous socio-economic impact, improving the quality of life by providing new insight into, for example, the medical, nutritional and agricultural sciences. Eventually, this should lead to new therapies and medicines, healthier foods, sustainable products, and new and improved production methods. Many Life Science companies have started with a brilliant idea of a scientist and/or with a discovery in a university research lab. Thus the heart of a Life Science company is the science and the scientific discoveries around which a structural body is built in order to bring scientific discoveries to the market. This course will be a discovery tour about the science at the heart of Leiden Life Science companies and their founder(s). You will unravel how scientific research has led to products on the market or in the pipeline. The course consists of lectures, workshops and site visits.

Course objectives

After the course, students

  • are able to explain why entrepreneurship and innovation is important for society and the Health sector in particular;

  • can identify which skills, attitudes, and types of behavior a successful entrepreneur possesses;

  • know which entrepreneurial and innovative skills, attitudes, and types of behavior might help their own further development;

  • can describe the process from ‘scientific idea to (potential) product’ for a life science company in the LBSP;

  • can describe which aspects play a role during the process of starting and growing a firm from a scientific discovery (venture building);

  • understand the basics of the Dutch patent system and know where to find IP information;

  • understand their position regarding being an inventor and IP;

  • understand general concepts of drug development and value creation;

  • can apply and integrate general concepts of drug development and value creation to their evaluation of the (potential) product(s) of a life science company;

  • are able to work in a team with peers in order to reach individual and team goals.


All course and group schedules are published on MyTimeTable.

The exam dates have been determined by the Education Board and are published in MyTimeTable.
It will be announced in MyTimeTable and/or Brightspace when and how the post-exam feedback will be organized.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, workshops, self-study, site visit to NLC in Amsterdam, site visit companies in LBSP, student symposium.

Assessment method

  • Students will be assessed both with regard to their team presentation, their team essay and personal reflection essay.

  • Attention will also be given to academic competence and attitude of the students during the workshops.

Grade: pass/no pass

Reading list

You can find the complete reading list for Biomedical Sciences here.


Registration must be done via MyStudyMap. Registration in MyStudyMap gives you automatic access to the course in Brightspace. For more information, please visit the Leiden University website for students.