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BIOCOM Institute Secures Non-Profit Designation and Funding
Date:7/30/2008

Institute focuses on science education

SAN DIEGO, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The BIOCOM Institute, a charitable organization focused on advancing science literacy, has secured non-profit status and funding for its mission to serve as a bridge between learning institutions and life science companies.

Funded with two initial $30,000 grants from the Pfizer Foundation and the San Diego Foundation, the institute is a 501 (c) (3) arm of BIOCOM, the association for the Southern California life science community, that will raise awareness and provide training for career opportunities in the biotech and medical device community for students, scientists, career counselors and teachers.

"The BIOCOM Institute concentrates on introducing one of our greatest resources, our children, to their potential for careers in the biotech and medical device community," said Tina Nova Bennett, Ph.D. Genoptix's president and CEO and chairwoman of the BIOCOM Institute board. "The BIOCOM Institute will foster the next generation of life science leaders that may potentially save lives through scientific discovery."

BIOCOM is committed to developing a life science workforce that can fuel innovation, drive regional economic prosperity and build understanding of the life science community.

"The BIOCOM Institute builds on our science education foundation and creates pioneering opportunities for students, teachers, and scientists to work together to improve the state of science education," said Kristie Grover, the BIOCOM Institute's director. "Through programs that encourage science literacy and interaction with the biotech and medical device community, the BIOCOM Institute will open our student's eyes to the world of science and improve the understanding of our industry's impact on humanity."

These programs include:

-- The Biotechnology Space Research Alliance, a partnership with NASA to encourage use of the National Laboratory on the International Space Station for breakthrough biotechnology discoveries and educational experiences.

-- Career Counselor Outreach, which teaches high school, college and career counselors about the broad scientific and non-scientific occupations that are available throughout the life science industry.

-- The Life Science Immersion Program, which provides scientists with the business acumen to successfully transition into industry.

-- The Life Sciences Summer Institute, which exposes teachers and students to the life science industry through training camps and internships; this program was developed by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and BIOCOM.

-- The Science Education Speakers Bureau, which matches industry professionals with K-12 guest speaking and teaching opportunities.

Funding for the BIOCOM Institute from the Pfizer Foundation and the San Diego Foundation will go to support the Science Education Speakers Bureau Project.

The BIOCOM Institute will be pursuing other grant opportunities as a self-sufficient science education arm of BIOCOM and has 501 (c) (3) non-profit status for tax-exempt donations. For more information on the BIOCOM Institute or how you can support and participate in its community efforts, please call Kristie Grover at 858-455-0300 x107.

About the BIOCOM Institute

Through support of K-12 scientific education and the continuous promotion of Southern California's world-class colleges and universities, the BIOCOM Institute will encourage systemic change for broader science education through collaboration and outreach. The mission of the BIOCOM Institute is to offer and implement education programs that increase science literacy. For more information on the BIOCOM Institute, please visit the organization's Web site at http://www.biocomworkforce.org.

About BIOCOM

BIOCOM is the largest regional life science association in the world, representing more than 570 member companies in Southern California. The association focuses on initiatives that position the region's life science industry competitively on the world stage, and on the development and delivery of innovative products that improve health and quality of life. This includes initiatives in capital formation, public policy, workforce development, and member services. For more information on BIOCOM or the Southern California biotechnology and medical device community, please visit the organization's Web site at http://www.biocom.org or call (858) 455-0300.


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