FSRI is working with Workforce Florida, Inc. (WFI) and Southeast Florida’s iCoast to launch a web-based biotechnology training curriculum under a regional demonstration initiative. FSRI hosts the web-based curriculum as part of its Advanced Learning Environment (ALE), which was initially developed for WFI and NASA to support aerospace workforce training.

The regional demonstration–to be initiated on February 23 at a regional Bioscience Stakeholders Meeting in West Palm Beach–will test market the Biotech Curriculum with life science companies on the iCoast region, leading to eventual service to the biotechnology industry statewide. FSRI helped lead the development of the Biotech Curriculum as part of the WFI-sponsored Florida Consortium for Biotechnology Workforce Development. The project integrates highly interactive web-based content with classroom-based courses, and was featured at a recent Florida Economic Development Workshop as being among the state’s biotechnology ‘best practices.’

“We are very pleased to be piloting the use of Workforce Florida’s Biotech Curriculum online,” said Michael Corbit, executive director of iCoast. “This is a valuable program that will provide access to this on-line training tool for entry-level or existing workers in life sciences, adding to Florida’s economic growth and global competitiveness in a variety of markets. Our role will reinforce the iCoast’s position as an important biotechnology proponent.”

“Workforce development has got to be forward thinking and working in tandem with economic development to ensure that Florida will have workers with the skills required by both current and future employers to be competitive,” said Curtis Austin, President of Workforce Florida Inc. “The online bio-tech training project has got the right partners, the right industry, and the right delivery method at exactly the right time for our state – all critical ingredients to success.”

FSRI, which co-manages the state-funded Space Life Sciences Lab with NASA at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, was established by Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature to promote collaboration among the state’s academic institutions, industry, and federal space agencies to support space-related education, training, research and technology development.