This project aims to coordinate a network of stakeholders that will promote economic growth through workforce development in Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue-based Products (CAMCTP). CAMCTP requires a new kind of manufacturing that uses robotics, microfluidics, 3-D printing, computational modeling, and novel types of engineering to construct biologically relevant products composed of living cells in combination with natural or synthetic materials. The field is built upon advances in stem cell biology, genome editing, synthetic biology, computational modeling, micro- and nano-fabrication, tissue engineering, and 3-D additive manufacturing. The products of CAMCTP have the potential to extend our understanding of disorders and may provide effective methods for treating conditions such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, diabetes, and heart disease. There are expanding career opportunities in this field, as well as unmet needs to develop a workforce that has the required skills. By creating a network of stakeholders from education, government, and industry, the goal of the Coordination Network is to develop a skilled, diverse workforce for CAMCTP and inform the public about CAMCTP.
This coordination network will use the experience, expertise, and perspectives of diverse stakeholders to unify efforts and scale up the progress in preparation of entry, middle-skill, and senior level career tracks in CAMCTP. Madison Area Technical College will work with stakeholders to ensure that project activities include principles of inclusion, equity, equality, and diversity. The lessons learned in this project have the potential to serve as a model for similar efforts in other emerging technology areas. The project aims to accomplish four objectives: (i) establish a national consortium and a system of governance based on shared interest and public-private partnerships to enable workforce development for CAMCTP; (ii) conduct annual meetings of the CAMCTP consortium and focused Special Interest Group meetings; (iii) identify/develop/disseminate industry-based CAMCTP core competencies and identify and disseminate information about relevant workforce education/training options; and (iv) create a structure for sustainability based on public-private partnerships, investments, and commitments.
The goal of our NSF ATE Coordination Network (CN) is to formalize a network that promotes bio-economic growth through workforce development in the area of Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue-based Products (AMCTP). By AMCTP we refer to the use of cells (particularly but not exclusively stem cells) in applications that can involve complex tissues and organs and genome engineering. AMCTP requires a new kind of manufacturing that constructs biological systems in combination with natural or synthetic materials using robotics, microfluidics, 3-D printing, computational modeling, and novel types of engineering that we are only beginning to imagine. The products of AMCTP promise to deepen our understanding of the root causes of disorders and may provide effective methods for treating conditions such as Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, and heart disease. There are ever-expanding career opportunities in this important field and there is an unmet need to develop a workforce with appropriate skills. Finding strategies to develop a skilled workforce in this complex area is a task best addressed by a network of stakeholders from education, government, and industry. On the front end, it is an imperative to include community representatives to help build a diverse workforce and inform the public about AMCTP.