green corn field

InnovATEBIO Goes Virtual to Reach Biotech Instructors and Students


Russ Read, Executive Director. National Center Biotechnology Workforce,
Forsyth Tech Community College, Winston-Salem, NC

Last fall, Austin Community College was awarded a $7.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education program to create the National Biotechnology Education Center–InnovATEBIO–with partners in New York, California, Washington, North Carolina, and Wisconsin (see partners, below). The Center is addressing the rapidly growing need for highly skilled technicians by consolidating several biotech education projects into a national network to share best practices and expand research opportunities for students at two-year institutions.

Because of InnovATEBIO‘s collaborative structure, we know that we can offer quality instruction despite not being in the classroom face-to-face. In fact, through the sharing of data across the nation, we have the opportunity to find out more about what biotech programs are doing and share best practices, resources, and challenges.

Helping Instructors Navigate the New Paradigm

To this end, during these COVID-19 “Stay at Home” times, InnovATEBIO is hosting a weekly Friday webinar for community college or industry partners and a Saturday weekly meeting for high school teachers. To check out what we are discussing each week, visit the website:

In one example of shared best practices, Austin Community College will be offering a biomanufacturing course that will be using an online platform plus data from one of the top programs in the nation.

In addition, there are several online biotech resources, such as interactive protein purification and biomanufacturing simulations that biotech students can use to practice troubleshooting and decision-making. These free labs can be found on the website as well. 

InnovATEBIO Partners

  • Finger Lakes Community College | Canandaigua, New York
  • Forsyth Technical Community College | Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Madison College | Madison, Wisconsin
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (DNA Learning Center) | Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  • NY City College of Technology | New York, New York
  • Digital World Biology | Seattle, Washington
  • Bay Area Bioscience Center (CSBI Group) | San Francisco, California
  • Bay Area Bioscience Education Community | San Francisco, California
  • Washington State University | Pullman, Washington
Share this post