NSF grant expands biotech training

By Peter Kent

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Clemson scientists an $800,000 grant to expand biotechnology education in South Carolina.

Faculty from biosystems engineering and agricultural education programs received three-year funding to develop and pilot the biosystems technology Advanced Technical Education (ATE) initiative. The project will develop courses for high school, technical school and university students seeking work in bioprocessing industries.

Bio-based products, such as biopharmaceutical, nutraceutical and biofuel compounds, are a growing economic sector nationally, expanding from $39 billion to $198 billion since 1996. The goal of the ATE project is to increase the number of qualified technical program graduates to meet workforce demands.

First year participants are faculty at Clemson; Greenville Technical College; and eight secondary schools in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee and Sumter counties; and advisory board members.

For information: Caye Drapcho, 864-656-0378, cdrapch@clemson.edu