From 1998 to 2018, Bio-Link has been the Next Generation National Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center of Excellence for Biotechnology and Life Sciences. 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. In the summer of 2018, Digital World Biology, a Bio-Link partner for the past 10 years, was awarded an NSF ATE grant to continue managing the Bio-Link.org Community through this website and various communications (the Bio-Link.org newsletter, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn) and others. As a platform for outreach, Bio-Link.org will continue 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.
Bio-Link 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. 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 new grant was funded in 2009 to give way to a broader program designed to include more individuals in leadership roles.
Bio-Link.org continues to support a cadre of well-trained instructors and is helping to increase the number and quality of biotechnology education programs. Bio-Link.org 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.