The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD) have been awarded a $1.2 million Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology contract to develop and implement a nationwide scientific business development and management educational program.
The successfully funded proposal is titled “From the Bench to the Shop: Creation and Implementation of a Scientific Business Development and Management Program to Transition High Consequence Livestock Disease Research and Development Technologies for Commercialization.”
DHS invited the submission of proposals with innovative approaches to develop training programs for preparing animal disease scientists to respond against these diseases.
Awarded proposals support preparation for the U.S. National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) new state-of-the-art biocontainment facility, which will study emerging transboundary animal diseases that threaten animal agriculture and public health. This new facility will replace DHS’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center in 2022.
Texas A&M’s project will develop a novel training curriculum to equip next generation scientific professionals with the skill sets required to transition research discoveries to the marketplace.
“As a whole, this program will be vital to workforce development in the U.S.—particularly for the new NBAF,” said Gerald Parker, DVM, Ph.D., M.S., IIAD interim director. “It will truly focus on soft skill sets and commercialization, teaching researchers how to take their product where it needs to go for widespread commercial adoption and success.”
The program is being developed using a large-scale national and international consortium of federal partners, industry, international groups, and academia. Development of such a program requires a multidisciplinary partnership from multiple groups and organizations for trainees to understand the entire skill set required to take a research and development product to commercialization.
This program will be based at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and involves a wide team of partners, which includes Colorado State University, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Kansas State University, and Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa.
“This project is a major undertaking and promises to be successful because of its collaborative, multidisciplinary nature,” said Craig Nessler, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research director. “This is a first of its kind and has brought together a team with the proven track records, skills, and commitment. This project supports the goals of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
Source: Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, adapted.