The new National Biotechnology Education Center: Starting in October 2019, the biotechnology education and workforce development community will be supported by the InnovATEBIO National Center for Biotechnology Education. InnovATEBIO is supported by a five-year ATE (below) national center grant (NSF DUE 1901984). The InnovATEBIO National Biotechnology Education Center will address the need to educate highly skilled technicians for the nation's biotechnology workforce. Toward this goal, InnovATEBIO will provide leadership in biotechnology technician education, including support for development and sharing of best practices in biotechnology workforce development.
Brief History: From 1998 to 2018, Bio-Link was the Next Generation National Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center of Excellence for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (DUE 0903317, and 1400721). The National Science Foundation's ATE program was created to improve and expand educational programs that prepare skilled technicians to work in the high-tech fields that drive the U.S. economy. The Bio-Link National Center resided at City College of San Francisco. Originally Bio-Link Regional Centers were located in Seattle, WA; Shoreline, WA; Fairfield, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Madison, WI; Graham, NC; and Portsmouth, NH. Regional Centers were dissolved when the a grant was funded in 2009 to give way to a broader program designed to include more individuals in leadership roles. InnovATEBIO will now take on the role of serving as the National Center for Biotechnology Education.
The Future: In the summer of 2018, Digital World Biology, a Bio-Link partner of 10 years, was awarded an NSF ATE grant (A Bridge to Bio-Link's Future, DUE 1764225) to continue managing the suite of Bio-Link.org resources. InnovATEBIO will support the expansion of these resources in order to grow and maintain Bio-Link as the core digital resource through the new center. By maintaining these valuable resources, InnovATEBIO will be able to continue to offer a platform to host the Biotechnology Program and Affiliate pages for its members, along with Courses in a Box and other content. Members will also continue to be able to provide content via blogs, conference presentations, publications, and event postings. Members will be alerted to new content and community activities via the newsletter. The InnovATEBIO community enhances biotechnology education programs by providing cutting edge professional development for instructors, by improving curriculum, by making use of technologies, and by creating a system for sharing information.
InnovATEBIO continues to support a cadre of well-trained instructors and is helping to increase the number and quality of biotechnology education programs. InnovATEBIO members help introduce a wide range of underrepresented students to biotechnology, by helping them acquire the knowledge and skills essential to the field and advance their education in math, science, and engineering.