UMBC has received a $900,000 grant from the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) to develop and implement a new, short-term biomanufacturing training program. Four universities, all classified as minority-serving institutions (MSIs), received funding for similar programs, designed to meet critical national workforce needs.

UMBC will offer the biomanufacturing training program at its Universities at Shady Grove (USG) campus in Rockville. The program will be adapted from a curriculum first developed at Texas A&M University.

Annica Wayman, associate dean for Shady Grove affairs, and co-lead Manik Ghosh, assistant director of the Translational Life Science Technology laboratories at UMBC, will travel to Texas for training on the curriculum and will then work together to adapt it for UMBC. The anticipated training launch is late summer or fall 2023.

“This new program is really the next wave of UMBC expanding our training offerings,” Wayman says. “This kind of short-term programming could enhance our courses as well, to help with educating people in biomanufacturing and strengthening that workforce where there’s a huge gap.”

The gap between supply and demand for skilled workers in biotech is real and it’s only growing in the BioHealth Capital Region. This region, which includes Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia, ranks no. 4 among the top biopharma clusters in the country. The pandemic has further expanded the biopharma industry, so the need for qualified local workers in a range of biotech roles has never been greater.