Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) is officially launching the Colorado BioScience Institute (The Institute). The announcement was made by April Giles, CBSA President & CEO, who said, “The Institute is a 5013 non-profit that our Association is establishing to provide educational and workforce programs for teachers, students, bioscience professionals and the broader community." The Institute will create a framework to train the very best young scientists and business entrepreneurs, as well as assist companies with the recruitment, retention and attraction of these future bioscience employees and leaders.
“We are very proud to bring The Institute to Colorado — we've spent a year accessing the community’s needs and developing the framework of the Institute. As the Education Chair of the CBSA's Board of Directors, I look forward to developing The Institute into a renowned and integral piece of the bioscience ecosystem in the state and adding value to our growing industry,” Mark Spiecker, CEO of Sharklet Technologies and Board Member for both CBSA and The Institute, explains. The Institute was introduced to the CBSA membership and community supporters at its Annual Awards Dinner held last month by Spiecker.
Further, according to Giles, “Our Board saw a need for The Institute as our industry continues to grow at 4.6 percent, out-pacing the national average. It is expected that Colorado will need to fill 232,000 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related jobs by 2018. CBSA's new Institute is the only non-profit in Colorado that focuses exclusively on all areas of the bioscience industry.”
The CBSA leadership team has set a kick-off goal of $100,000 for The Institute this year. The initial $20,000 raised, including a generous matching gift from PhRMA up to $5,000, will support the Colorado launch of one of its flagship programs, the BioGENEius Challenge. BioGENEius provides high school students the opportunity to compete and be recognized for outstanding research in biotechnology. Participants in the first Colorado BioGENEius Challenge will be able to compete with participants across the country. For more information about the U.S. National BioGENEius program, visit: http://www.biotechinstitute.org/node/1440.
The Institute has established these five overarching program areas that are critical to the future of bioscience in Colorado:
1. Teachers — Providing teachers with practical knowledge and experience to enhance their content understanding and classroom practice, especially related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
2. Professionals — Providing programs for experienced researchers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders to build businesses and advance their careers in the bioscience industries.
3. Workforce Development — Providing classes, training programs, internships as a form of workforce recruitment and development.
4. Secondary Students (9-12) — Providing students with opportunities to explore careers in biotechnology and associated industries.
5. Community — Creating broader awareness of the industry’s impact through partnerships with other organizations.
The Institute will also provide assistance to patient advocacy and disease-related organizations to help build awareness of their important work in Colorado.