A biotech training center is in the works at San Jacinto College in Houston, which the school says is positioned to become a global leader in biomanufacturing.
The San Jacinto College Biotechnology Center, to be located at the 4,300-acre Generation Park in Northeast Houston, is aimed at training workers in life science and at helping firm up Houston’s status in life science manufacturing.
A recent study commissioned by the Greater Houston Partnership identified development of a well-trained workforce as a key component to the region’s success in attracting and retaining life science companies.
San Jac and McCord Development, the Houston-based developer of Generation Park, have signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Ireland that is supposed to lead to the college becoming the exclusive provider of institute-licensed training in the Southwest and Southeast regions of the U.S.
The college says the center “will offer students hands-on experience in a pilot-scale bioprocessing center that includes upstream, downstream, and fill-finish facilities, as well as specific curriculum in cell and gene therapy and other innovative and developing industry sectors.”
San Jacinto College will be the institute’s sixth global partner and second U.S. partner.
“Building on San Jacinto College’s established track record of working with industry to develop need-specific training and accreditation centers, the partnership with NIBRT represents an opportunity to train the workforce that Houston's biopharma industry needs to sustain its rapid growth,” Brenda Hellyer, chancellor of the college, says in a news release. “We also expect to contribute to the global market by training people eager to enter this growing industry from around the United States and beyond.”
A study will be undertaken to determine details about the center, including its curriculum and size.
“San Jacinto College’s Biotechnology Center at Generation Park is the catalyst our region needs to fill the gap in our existing life science ecosystem and accelerate biomanufacturing in Houston,” says Ryan McCord, president of McCord Development.