Bio-Link is the Next Generation National Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center of Excellence for Biotechnology and Life Sciences. Bio-Link originated in late 1998 with a grant from the National Science Foundation as a National ATE Center for Biotechnology. The ATE program was created to improve and expand educational programs that prepare skilled technicians to work in the high-tech fields that drive the U.S. economy.
Bio-Link enhances biotechnology education programs by providing cutting edge professional development for instructors, by improving curriculum, by making use of technologies and by creating a system for sharing of information. The Bio-Link National Center is at City College of San Francisco with office space at the University of California San Francisco. Regional Bio-Link Centers across the country were once active and located in Seattle, WA; Shoreline, WA; Fairfield, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Madison, WI; Graham, NC; and Portsmouth, NH. The concept of Regional Centers was dissolved when the new grant was funded in 2009 to give way to a broader program designed to include more individuals in leadership roles called "Leader Links".
The Regional Centers main focus and goals was to connect with local industry and educational institutions including community colleges, baccalaureate institutions, and high schools. In addition, each Regional Center spearheaded a different element of the program.
Bio-Link continues to support a cadre of well-trained instructors and is increasing the number and quality of biotechnology programs for students. Bio-Link brings a wide range of underrepresented students to biotechnology who have the knowledge and skills essential to the field as well as the ability to continue with more advanced education in math, science and engineering.