Delgado Partnering with BioMADE on $510,000 National Science Foundation Grant

September 01, 2023

In partnership with BioMADE, Delgado Community College has secured a $510,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. The NSF-ATE funding will be used to support the “Advancing Progress in Industrial Biomanufacturing to Accelerate Workforce Readiness” project being launched by BioMADE and Delgado Community College’s Science Laboratory Technology Program. The partnership aims to develop bioindustrial manufacturing curriculum, train the Gulf South workforce, participate in professional development, and provide continuing education.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Delgado Community College, the faculty, the students, the citizens of the community, and the industry looking to fill jobs,” said Dr. Amanda Rosenzweig, Co-Principal Investigator and Interim Assistant Dean of Delgado’s School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. “We are excited about this opportunity to increase capacity for training Delgado students in biomanufacturing technology. The NSF ATE grant awards are competitive and Delgado’s Science Laboratory Technology Program’s ability to partner with BioMADE and submit a worthy proposal demonstrates our growth in looking for innovative and forward-thinking ways to educate our students.”

According to the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, the NSF envisions a nation that capitalizes on new concepts in science and engineering and provides global leadership in advancing research and education. The goal is to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.

With a focus on two-year Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), the ATE program supports the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive the national economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions (grades 7-12, IHEs), industry, and economic development agencies to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary institution school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways; and other activities. It is required that projects be faculty driven and that courses and programs are credit bearing, although materials developed may also be used for incumbent worker education.

The goals of the Delgado-BioMADE NSF-ATE project are to:  

  • Develop, test, and finalize key bioprocessing concept education modules that meet performance benchmarks for bioindustrial manufacturing  
  • Increase capacity of a diverse and inclusive workforce ecosystem and career entry through deployment and dissemination of curricula materials  
  • Formalize the Community of Practice (CoP) for workforce agencies, academic institutions, and industry/commercial entities to inform local, regional and national workforce efforts in bioindustrial manufacturing 

Through this project, industry subject matter experts will develop eight plug-and-play modules that are designed to be dropped into pre-existing courses, easing the burden on faculty. Each module will be 6-12 hours long and will include presentations, learning assessments, and lab exercises as relevant. Delgado Community College will serve as a testbed for the new modular curricula before subsequent dissemination and deployment of products to the wider community college ecosystem. Once evaluated and refined, the modules will be distributed to educators and workforce professionals nationwide. Modules will include: 

  • Upstream processing 
  • Downstream processing 
  • Quality by design 
  • Design of experiment  
  • Good manufacturing process 
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Quality systems 
  • Techno-economic analysis  

All of these modules will ensure that students enter the bioindustrial manufacturing workforce highly skilled and capable of securing good-paying jobs in a variety of roles. With the global bioeconomy projected to reach $30 trillion within the next two decades, over 1.1 million new jobs will be needed. This work will give faculty the tools they need to incorporate biomanufacturing into their curricula and increase the number of students prepared to enter the biomanufacturing workforce.  

About Delgado Community College

A Delgado Community College education leads to enhanced employment opportunities or transfer to a four-year college. Founded in 1921, Delgado is the oldest and largest community college in Louisiana. As well as offering affordable associate degrees and transferable college credits, Delgado provides diplomas and certifications in dozens of professional and technical areas. Class schedules are flexible to meet the needs of every student. Delgado is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college has held this accreditation since 1971. Individual programs at Delgado are also accredited by industry-specific accrediting agencies.