In October 2019, InnovATEBIO (NSF DUE 1901984), was designated the National Biotechnology Education Center of the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The center works with two-year colleges throughout the US to develop workforce to support biotechnical enterprise. As part of a decentralized approach, InnovATEBIO is developing Community Hubs, “collaborative partnerships among community colleges, high schools, higher educational partners, workforce agencies, industry and/or trade organizations that support career pathways and develop a skilled technical workforce that meets the needs of the bioscience industry.”
Community Hubs provide distributed infrastructure that spreads responsibility, encourages shared leadership, and broadens participation. Each hub develops collaborations that broaden and enrich the InnovATEBIO ecosystem. Each Community Hub is a “go to” place for specialized expertise in biotech education, as exemplified by those developed by the InnovATEBIO leadership team:
Alumni Network and Teacher Mentoring – Austin Community College
Industry and Workforce Development – Forsyth Technical Community College
Student Research – Finger Lakes Community College
Student Supply Chain – Bay Area Biotech Education Community (BABEC)
Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells – Madison College and Promega
Genomics – DNA Learning Center and New York City College of Technology
InnovATEBIO is inviting proposals to develop a new Emerging Technology Hub in Agricultural Biotechnology, which will expand expertise beyond the core leadership team. The Ag Biotech Hub will join the InnovATEBIO leadership team and receive a one-year development grant of $50,000. InnovATEBIO will work with the Ag Biotech Hub to develop a proposal for multi-year funding from the NSF ATE Program, to be submitted for the October, 2021 deadline.
Proposals are encouraged from individual two-year colleges with biotech workforce programs or partnerships between two-year colleges, K-12 organizations, industry, and non-profit organizations. The proposal narrative is limited to 6 single-spaced pages, with one-inch margins in minimum 11-point typeface. Detail and justify a one-year budget on a maximum of 2 additional pages. Applicants should present evidence of expertise and activities they will bring to InnovATEBIO and how they will integrate with the existing core hubs. The proposal should explain existing strengths and plans to evolve the Ag Biotech Hub, specifically in relation to the following ATE best practices:
ties to industry and trade organizations,
outreach to high schools,
collaboration and communication,
inclusion and diversity,
Competitive applicants will present their expertise in a December webinar series on Emerging Trends in Agricultural Biotechnology, and the winning proposal will be announced in January, 2021.