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Partnership to advance biomanufacturing industry in U.S., Europe

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 9:43am

To foster the continued success of the biomanufacturing industry, North Carolina State University has joined forces with a French university to provide biomanufacturing training, education, and process services in the United States and Europe.

The new organization, BTEC International, is the result of a partnership between NC State's Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) and Strasbourg University's European Aseptic and Sterile Environment Training Center (EASE), developed with Alsace Biovalley.

Biomanufacturing typically refers to the production of biopharmaceuticals—medical drugs produced through biotechnology. Examples include vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and proteins for medicinal use. The overall impact of the biopharmaceutical industry on the U.S. economy exceeds $917 billion annually. This translates into 674,000 direct jobs and 3.4 million indirect and induced jobs.

Plans call for the enterprise to become a knowledge hub of regulatory affairs expertise pertaining to both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

BTEC International will develop and provide hands-on biomanufacturing training and regulatory-affairs courses at the Golden LEAF BTEC facility in Raleigh, N.C., and at the EASE headquarters in Strasbourg, France. The initiative will also work with researchers, corporations, governments, and international organizations to create innovative technologies to advance the biomanufacturing industry.

"We are delighted to launch this initiative with EASE. By joining forces and integrating new member centers, the BTEC International network will bring a critical value to companies in participating regions," says Ruben Carbonell, PhD, director of BTEC.

"This network will bring together the highest performing training centers in bioproduction throughout the world, starting with BTEC North Carolina and Strasbourg University's EASE, which is strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe, in the heart of the Biovalley," said Jean Marc Jeltsch, vice president for industry partnerships at Strasbourg University and head of EASE Strategic Committee. "Working in close partnership with industry and academic centers, BTEC International will foster the development of bioindustries by building gold standards for hands-on training of the workforce."

In the future, BTEC International plans to expand its membership and become a collaborative network of training centers. The goal, Carbonell says, is to bring biomanufacturing companies into closer, mutually supportive relationships. BTEC International members will work together to develop partnerships, increase the international content of curricula, and organize short courses and seminars.

"The end result is improved employability and enhanced skills," Carbonell said.

Source: North Carolina State University
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