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Delaware Valley Innovation Network Awards First Innovation Investment Grant to the Wistar Institute

PHILADELPHIA, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Delaware Valley Innovation Network (DVIN) announced today the award of its first Innovation Investment Grant. The Wistar Institute will receive $89,000 to support the Wistar Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program, a two-year workforce development program in biotechnology and biomedical research.

The BTT Program provides Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) students instruction and hands-on experience training while preparing for careers as Biomedical Technicians. "We see tremendous value in supporting a pipeline of talented students from the Community College of Philadelphia through real work experience at the Wistar Institute, various industry laboratories and the Fels Institute," said Helen Groft, Project Director of DVIN. "These students will be able to jumpstart their careers and employers will have experienced candidates to hire."

The Innovation Investment Award will support the Wistar Institute-CCP partnership and provide training opportunities for 17 first and second year students through CCP's new Center for Science, Engineering and Emerging Technologies. Dr. William Wunner, Director of the Biomedical Technician Training Program said, "The BTT program equips promising community college students with a better understanding of cancers, genetics diseases, autoimmune diseases, and a multitude of related conditions that affect human and animal health."

Since 2001, life science companies and affiliated institutions where students participating in the BTT program have included:

-- Centocor (Radnor, PA)

-- Cephalon (West Chester, PA)

-- Charles River Laboratories (Malvern, PA)

-- GlaxoSmithKline (Collegeville, PA)

-- Neose Technologies (Horsham, PA)

-- Tengion, Inc. (East Norristown, PA)

-- University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP)

-- Fels Institute of Temple University

The Wistar Institute will be working with DVIN to expand their training program to other community colleges throughout the tri-state region.

About DVIN Innovation Investments

The DVIN Innovation Investment Fund will provide more than $2.4 million in grants over the next three years to support training and capacity building programs for the life science workforce in the Delaware Valley. Eligible applicants for the DVIN Innovation Investments include 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, individual businesses or business partnerships, educational entities, economic development organizations, workforce intermediaries, and community-based organizations.

The next deadline for Innovation Investment proposal submissions is October 1, 2008.

More information about DVIN Innovation Investments, including guidelines, FAQ's and upcoming information sessions is available at htm.

Point of Contact: Jason Maki, Project Coordinator, DVIN 215-496-8143,

About DVIN

The Delaware Valley Innovation Network (DVIN) was formed in 2005 to apply for a Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This unique, collaborative effort was endorsed by the governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and created a fourteen-county initiative to strengthen and grow the tri-state region's vibrant life sciences industry and workforce. DVIN's mission is to accelerate the transformation of the life sciences industry in the 14-county tri-state region into an internationally recognized center for excellence. DVIN will attract resources to support research, industry and human capital development. For more information, please visit

About the Wistar Institute

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. Discoveries at Wistar led to the creation of the rubella vaccine that eradicated the disease in the United States, human rabies vaccines used worldwide, and a rotavirus vaccine approved in 2006. Today, Wistar is home to preeminent research programs studying skin cancer, lung cancer, and brain tumors. Wistar Institute Vaccine Center scientists are creating new vaccines against pandemic influenza, HIV, and other diseases threatening global health. The Institute works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today's Discoveries - Tomorrow's Cures. On the web at

SOURCE Delaware Valley Innovation Network
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