You are here

Contract Services (CSOs)

In its true form, a Contract Service Organization (CSO) is a business model in which "companies enter into a contract for goods and services provided by the organization". Usually companies choose to outsource certain tasks because they do not have the in-house expertise or to simply to minimize operational expenses. Community College run CSOs, for the purpose of creating authentic learning experiences, have been funded by NSF in the past beginning in 2004 with InnovaBio at Salt Lake City Community College (InnovaBio website). Since then, more community college biotechnology programs have explored the CSO model as a strategy to embed project-based learning competencies into their technical curriculum. As such, the NSF-funded Center of Excellence, Bio-Link, held a summit on April 18-20, 2012 at St. Louis Community College to discuss and document best practices for educationally based CSOs (see report). In the end, summit participates agreed that hands-on, authentic work experiences are crucial components to educating skilled bioscience technicians, and this project is based on those findings.

A community college run CSO is a relationship between industry and a college to conduct industry appropriate research and product development with the assistance of students and faculty. In essence, students have the opportunity to participate in authentic work experiences, and faculty gain valuable training in industry-related project management and STEM teaching, all while providing valuable products and services to regional bioeconomies.

This project will be implemented over the next few years. Please check back often as we gather information and build resources, including curriculum development and professional development for teachers.  Learn more at

The outcomes and deliverables for this goal is to:

  • Establish infrastructure to support CSO development in Texas and Kentucky
  • Create a report on how to deepen industry ties utilizing Bio-Link and state resources with CSOs
  • Develop hybrid materials to educate both students and faculty about the economic and biotechnology needs of start-up companies

Community Events: 

There are no upcoming events Please check past events to view previous events.

Related Blogs: 

Abbe Kesterson demonstrates Bcalm, an inhaler that could be...

Abbe Kesterson of Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) just completed two semesters of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp at the University Of Kentucky Von Allmen Center Of Entrepreneurship. In the first semester, Bootcamp 1.0, teams conceived of, developed and pitched ideas. Teams met with ... Read more

Alice McConnell came to Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator to find a way to help her children and others suffering from a very rare neurometabolic disorder with no cure, succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADH). SSADH is an autosomal recessive trait and is characterized ... Read more

AC2 bioscience incubator
David Blackwell, Ceiling Biosciences, works with stem cells in...

Both the Austin Community College Biotech program and the Bioscience Incubator were featured in a news report from KXAN on the city's growing ... Read more

Related Documents: 

This document is used to describe the ABI facilities to potential customers. This is also useful for companies that want to apply for SBIR or STTR grants because they can use this in their... View details
In April 2017, the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center and the Bio-Link National Center co-sponsored the second CSO Summit. This meeting brought together innovative faculty from across the nation who are... View details
This is the training packet that InnovaBio uses with student interns. Provided by: Mary Nelson, PhD Director of InnovaBio and STUDENTfacturED Salt Lake Community College View details

Related Posters: 


Soil is one of the richest sources for microbial diversity and one of the most challenging of environments from which to successfully culture and study the microbes present. From an agricultural standpoint, soil microbes carry out a number of essential biochemical reactions necessary for plant ... Read more


Terpenoids are a diverse class of plant natural products that function as plant hormones, act in plant defense responses and provide structural support to membranes. In addition, terpenoids are commercially valued as essential oils, flavors, fragrances and pharmaceutical drugs. Furano-terpenes ... Read more

Related Presentations: 

At the Center for Plant and Life Sciences Campus of St. Louis Community College, numerous efforts synergistically overlap.  These intersections produce highly valuable interactions and experiences that promote the biotechnology industry and career opportunities in the St. Louis region. The...

Presenter: Tyler Drake, Austin Community College

Presenter: Linnea Fletcher AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center, Director Austin Community College