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Alcami and UNCW awarded $1.12 million biomanufacturing workforce development grant

Alcami Corporation, a leading provider of fully-integrated custom end-to-end solutions for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), North Carolina’s globally-minded research and development university, have been awarded an educational grant from the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), an organization comprised of companies, educational institutions, nonprofits, and state governments dedicated to accelerating biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation, developing industry standards, and educating and training a pipeline of skilled workers for the field’s abundant well-paying jobs. The grant will fund the UNCW program “Partnership for Workforce Development in the Biopharmaceutical Industry,” which will be co-developed and taught by Alcami subject matter experts.

“Partnership for Workforce Development in the Biopharmaceutical Industry” is a comprehensive laboratory, lecture, and internship series approved by NIIMBL’s Project Call 1.0, a program which solicits projects that address biomanufacturing technology and workforce development issues. NIIMBL’s governing committee chose the Alcami-UNCW proposal for its thorough, well-qualified, and innovative approach to workforce development. The $1.12 million project is funded through a $400,000 NIIMBL award in combination with additional support from project participants.

“We are thrilled to build on the successes of our academic partnership with UNCW and implement the next phase of specialized, practical, and scalable curricula to North Carolina students,” said Alcami CEO, President and Chairman, Dr. Stephan Kutzer. “Alcami and UNCW are together advancing the local employment pipeline, with a workforce already trained in biopharmaceutical processes and protocols. Our joint efforts will feed both regional and industry growth, and bring safe drugs to market faster as a byproduct.”

“As the state’s fastest growing public university, committed to serving its region and the state, UNCW is extremely pleased to partner with Alcami Corporation and contribute to the continued growth of the region’s pharmaceutical and life sciences cluster,” said UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “This NIIMBL grant will enable us to enhance the workforce in this large and growing industry and brighten the future for individuals, for our region, and for our state.”

Alcami and UNCW initiated an innovative academic partnership in July 2016, with two courses customized to enhance workforce education and prepare students for careers in pharmaceutical sciences. The first course, “Pharmaceutical Drug Development and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use,” provided students with an overview of the drug development process from concept to commercialization, focusing specifically on current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). A second laboratory-based course taught at UNCW’s state-of-the-art marine biotechnology center (MARBIONC), “Current Good Pharmaceutical Quality Control Laboratory Practice,” focused on the application of cGMPs in a drug development and testing laboratory. UNCW students began “Partnership for Workforce Development in the Biopharmaceutical Industry” in August. Cape Fear and Brunswick Community Colleges are also active participants, and are recommending students and providing support for the program.