Madison College to partner in national biotechnology network

Susan Pohorski, PR & Marketing Writer

MADISON, Wis. – Madison Area Technical College will join four other two-year colleges working to bridge the gaps in biotechnology education. A $7.5 million National Science Foundation grant will fund the InnovATE BIO National Biotechnology Education Center partnership.

The Center will consolidate several biotech education projects into a national network to share best practices and expand research opportunities for students at two-year institutions and in secondary schools nationwide. Madison College will serve as the National Hub for Emerging Technologies in the Biosciences and focus on public-private partnerships to advance the skilled technical workforce.

Madison College instructor Dr. Tom Tubon demonstrates a wet mount.
Madison College instructor Dr. Tom Tubon demonstrates a wet mount.

“The NSF Center award will enable us to accelerate the growth of our local, regional, and national bioscience education and workforce development initiatives in preparing the next generation of skilled technical workers,” said Thomas C. Tubon, Ph.D., Madison College biotechnology instructor and co-principal investigator for the project.

Madison College offers a Biotechnology Laboratory Technician associate degree, a Biotechnology Laboratory Support Assistant technical diploma and two biotechnology post-baccalaureate certificates.

"We are eager to contribute our expertise and resources for new programs that will link to further training in bioprocessing, manufacturing and quality control at Madison College," said Karin Borgh, Ph.D., executive director BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Fitchburg.

The biotechnology industry in Madison and Dane County continues to grow. In January 2019 there were 496 job openings posted by 20 companies in the area. A 2018 report by Baker Tilly and BioForward Wisconsin examined the biohealth industry and its impacts. According to the report, the industry showed job growth of 17% between 2013 and 2017.

Other two-year college partners are Finger Lakes Community College in New York, Forsyth Community College in North Carolina, Baltimore City Community College and New York City College of Technology.

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Madison College serves more than 33,000 students throughout a 12-county district in south-central Wisconsin, offering nearly 180 diverse career programs, diplomas and certificates. Its mission is to provide open access to quality higher education that fosters lifelong learning and success in the communities it serves. Madison College is the second-largest institution in the Wisconsin Technical College System.