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September 25, 2023 | Tom Ballard

ETSU secures a $1.3 million grant from BioMADE

With other funding of more than $2 million, the award was one of nine announced to advance bioindustrial manufacturing innovation, education and collaboration.

BioMADE, a national institute with a mission of helping secure America’s future through bioindustrial manufacturing innovation, education, and collaboration, has awarded East Tennessee State University (ETSU) $1.3 million in project funding. The grant total exceeds $3.3 million when including costs shared by ETSU and its partners.

The ETSU-led initiative is one of nine leading-edge projects that will advance Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain resiliency and sustainability goals, re-shore manufacturing jobs to the U.S., and enhance the domestic bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem. They cover the spectrum from producing natural rubber for a variety of military and commercial applications to converting waste into novel bioplastics and equipping the next generation of the bioindustrial manufacturing workforce with the skills they need to be successful.

ETSU’s funding is for a project titled “Completing the Bioindustrial Pipeline: A Multidisciplinary Workforce Development Institute for Biological and Bioprocess Engineering for the Appalachian Highlands.” As described on the BioMADE website, the focus is on the development of a set of bioprocess engineering, bioindustrial automation, and synthetic biology curriculum modules. The result is that traditional and non-traditional high school and college students will be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in the bioindustrial manufacturing industry.

Building on the work of the BioBuilder Foundation, the ETSU Research Corporation and the Niswonger Foundation, ETSU will help build a pipeline program training high school students and giving them the tools to jump into the workforce in as little as two years.  In the longer term, ETSU is creating a degree program to foster innovation and expansion, as well as give options to those interested in changing jobs.

To learn more, read the ETSU news release at this link

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