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Houston-area college shares more details on new biotechnology program, center

Houston's San Jacinto College is launching a biotechnology program in early 2024 to be housed in the Center for Biotechnology in Generation Park. Rendering courtesy of McCord

Houston's San Jacinto College will roll out a new biotechnology program in early 2024 as it gets closer to its goal of launching the Center for Biotechnology in Generation Park.

In partnership with the Ireland-based National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, the licensed training curriculum will offer regional biopharmaceutical training at the college's South Campus starting in January.

Initially, the 90-hour hybrid training program will provide opportunities for participants to gain experience with "all aspects of biomanufacturing, specialized instrumentation and equipment training, and advanced techniques," according to a statement. Students will earn an onboarding certificate that will help them enter the field.

The college then plans to open the Center for Biotechnology, developed by McCord Development Inc., at its Generation Park Campus in the first quarter of 2025. The state-of-the-art facility is slated to allow for more hands-on training within simulated environments, and will allow students to earn associate of applied science degrees in biomanufacturing technology, as well as credentials for those already in the workforce.

“The biomanufacturing industry is seeing substantial growth in the Greater-Houston area,” Christopher Wild, executive director for the San Jacinto College Center for Biotechnology, says in a statement. “The College’s partnership to offer NIBRT’s premier, industry-leading training right here in the Houston-area represents a firm commitment to bolstering the biomanufacturing workforce pipeline which will help position the region for continued growth.”

The center will also offer programs that are customizable to industry partners' needs, according to a statement, and will provide cost-effective training for new hires. It will be the only NIBRT-licensed training in the Southwest and Southeast region.

“The NIBRT team have been very impressed by San Jacinto’s excellent track record in developing workforce programmes for the Greater Houston Region across a broad range of industrial sectors," Darrin Morrissey, CEO of NIBRT, says in a statement. We are very much looking forward to working with the San Jacinto team to deliver world class biopharma training programs to their students."

The new center is part of Generation Park, a 4,300-acre master-planned development in Northeast Houston. In late 2022, San Jac and McCord, which is developing Generation Park, shared that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with the NIBRT to launch the program and center.

At the time, San Jacinto College was slated to be the institute’s sixth global partner and second U.S. partner.

Over the summer, McCord also revealed plans for its 45-acre biomanufacturing campus at Generation Park.

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