In June 2023, InnovATEBIO convened a national summit: “Envisioning the Next Bioscience Workforce: A Summit on Industry Trends and Needs” at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 300 attendees from education, industry, workforce and economic development and government gathered for two days to learn about emerging trends and technologies in the biosciences and to convene within “state teams” to develop action plans for strengthening the bioscience workforce ecosystem in their state.
The summit brought together thought and opinion leaders to consider how to develop a workforce that will maintain US leadership in all areas of the bioscience industry. On day one, “vision speakers” forecasted the future of biopharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, industrial biomanufacturing, agricultural biotechnology, cell-based foods, bioengineering, synthetic biology, and workforce education.
On day two, state teams met to explore how academia, industry, and government can work together to develop the talent needed to capitalize on these emerging technologies over the next five years. Also featured was a presentation on the 2023 CSBI Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report and best practice panels on developing state bioscience workforce ecosystems, bioscience education pathways, industry and academic partnerships, bioscience credentialing models, and the importance of creating a diverse workforce.
Four important reports (below) and Whitehouse actions motivated the need for the summit. At the highest levels of government there is an understanding that biotechnology will play an important role in addressing our most pressing needs and growing the US economy. It is also understood that community colleges will be important in educating the workforce needed to support the "bioecomomy."
In a six-month “Journey to the Summit,” InnovATEBIO asked faculty from biotech programs across the U.S. to assemble state teams comprising 2- and 4-year IHE faculty, industry, trade association members. For many states this was the first-time individuals with such different backgrounds had met let alone worked together. We learned that state trade associations are adding workforce development leaders to their staff, validating the premise that the biotechnology industry needs skilled technical employees. Evaluation results indicate that the Summit met its goals of increasing participants’ awareness of emerging trends in biotech and understanding that CCs and their students can support biotech workforce needs. Non‐educators learned how “impressive,” “motivated,” and “diverse” CC students are. State Teams identified common challenges and started to develop action plans to address biotech workforce needs in their states.
Speakers, bios, and first day agenda are listed on the summit's event page.
Additional summit content, and the listed information, are listed on biotech-summit tag page.
Photos from the event are posted on Flickr.
Postcast episodes, featuring Dr. Linnea Fletcher and summit plans: