This project aims to coordinate a network of stakeholders that will promote economic growth through workforce development in Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue-based Products (AMCTP). AMCTP requires a new kind of manufacturing that uses robotics, microfluidics, 3-D printing, computational modeling, and novel types of engineering to construct biologically relevant products composed of living cells in combination with natural or synthetic materials. The field is built upon advances in stem cell biology, genome editing, synthetic biology, computational modeling, micro- and nano-fabrication, tissue engineering, and 3-D additive manufacturing. The products of AMCTP have the potential to extend our understanding of disorders and may provide effective methods for treating conditions such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, diabetes, and heart disease. There are expanding career opportunities in this field, as well as unmet needs to develop a workforce that has the required skills. By creating a network of stakeholders from education, government, and industry, the goal of the Coordination Network is to develop a skilled, diverse workforce for AMCTP and inform the public about AMCTP.
This coordination network will use the experience, expertise, and perspectives of diverse stakeholders to unify efforts and scale up the progress in preparation of entry, middle-skill, and senior level career tracks in AMCTP. Madison area Technical College will work with stakeholders to ensure that project activities include principles of inclusion, equity, equality, and diversity. The lessons learned in this project have the potential to serve as a model for similar efforts in other emerging technology areas. The project aims to accomplish four objectives: (i) establish a national consortium and a system of governance based on shared interest and public-private partnerships to enable workforce development for AMCTP; (ii) conduct annual meetings of the AMCTP consortium and focused Special Interest Group meetings; (iii) identify/develop/disseminate industry-based AMCTP core competencies and identify and disseminate information about relevant workforce education/training options; and (iv) create a structure for sustainability based on public-private partnerships, investments, and commitments.
The National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program has been funding innovation at two-year colleges for over twenty years. With a focus on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy, and strong partnerships between academic institutions and industry, ATE promotes improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels.
To learn more about ATE, please visit the NSF ATE program home page.