President's Corner

California Institutes Lead Effort To Bring Life Science Education, Workforce Training And Entreprene

Today, the BayBio Institute and BIOCOM Institute announced that they are joining other bioscience organizations in a nationally coordinated effort to ensure America’s leadership in bioscience innovation by delivering industry-led life science education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship programs across the country.  The two institutions are both founding members of the newly established Coalition for Bioscience Institutes (CSBI), formally announced at the 2012 BIO International Convention.With SoCalBIO’s recent joining of the CSBI, California is fully represented at the table and will be able to maximize its impact nationally.

Life science is one of the fastest growing sectors in the state’s economy and the BayBio Institute and BIOCOM Institute have long been active in providing pioneering STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce and education programs here in California. Both Institutes’ affiliation with the CSBI will allow programs developed here to be shared with other institutes, and allow our communities to collaborate with successful programs developed around the United States.

Working together since December 2011, CSBI serves as an umbrella for standard practice sharing, joint fundraising and national initiatives for life science/STEM education (student education, career exploration and teacher professional development); workforce development (workforce training, incumbent worker professional development, dislocated worker training); and entrepreneurship.CSBI provides the opportunity for state bioscience organizations to share knowledge with the goal of improving bioscience education and innovation, while maximizing industry support. With its focus in these areas, CSBI complements the life science policy work of the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA), formed by the BIO in 2002.

At the BayBio Institute, we have seen time and again the important relationshipbetween workforce and economic development.The CSBI offers an opportunity to speak with a unified industry voice, and to share and scale programs across states that the life science industry is uniquely qualified to deliver. By leveraging members’ resources, the CSBI is positioned to make an even greater contribution to the life science industry by inspiring and preparing students, developing employees’ skills, and helping startup companies succeed.

Our regional efforts have been creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, and supporting veterans to help save lives and promote green sustainability. Now we have a mechanism to share our successful practices and programs with other states.The national CSBI network will have a positive impact on creating meaningful workforce development experiences that strengthen the economy and make real strides in improving Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) education.

Currently, CSBI is identifying leading state programs for national consideration. These include the BIOCOM Institute’sBioCollaborative workforce competitiveness program and the BayBio Institute’s Expert Network resource for entrepreneurial startups.  CSBI is also designing a web-based clearinghouse of all current state-level programs focused on life science education, workforce training and entrepreneurship.

CSBI founding  organizations include  BayBio InstituteBIOCOM Institute, the Biotechnology InstituteiBIO Institute,KansasBioMassBioEdMdBio Foundation and the Oregon Bioscience Association.  Forty-one state bioscience organizations are CSBI members with nine (9) additional groups expected to join.  The Coalition is co-chaired by BayBio Institute executive director Lori Lindburg and MassBioEd executive director Lance Hartford.  The Biotechnology Institute serves as CSBI’s administrative organization. By partnering, CSBI members bring unprecedented access to programs, facilitate national communication, and connect an extensive network of industry professionals.