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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 https://www.cincnet.org.

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: 

Mon, Jul 22 2019

The day starts with a tour of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center followed by several interactive panel sessions. The sessions cover best practices in high school education, what 2-year alumni are doing in the biotech industry, and how education interacts and supports the biotech industry by providing student interns and contract services. At the end of the day, there are three poster sessions. One session focuses on how 2-year programs meet emerging industry ... Read more

Related Blogs: 

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

Linnea in front of the VESTA booth.

This weekend I attended the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in San Marcos. I was there representing the new partnership between VESTA and the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center. Scott Kohls, co-PI for the VESTA Center, manned the booth and trained me ... Read more

An established partnership with the Kentucky Innovation Network  has led to a new collaboration. This March, the Von Allen Center will apply to renew their University Center grant through the Economic Development Administration ( ... 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: 

Abstract: 

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

Abstract: 

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: 

Presenter: Todd Smith Digital World Biology

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

Presenter: Tyler Drake, Austin Community College