- Business Services
While several colleges and universities offer specialized vocational training programs for students, no programs currently exist for dedicated training in the areas of expertise and requisite skills that are specifically required for careers in alternative proteins. The lack of educational resources hinders the development of a robust talent and recruitment pipeline since even talented and interested learners do not have a clear educational pathway to enter the alternative protein space. And for alternative protein companies that have already hired talent from related fields who are lacking specialized knowledge, they must devote substantial time and in-house resources to on-the-job training rather than be able to invest in their employees’ professional development through externally-organized courses and training programs.
This need can be addressed through several coordinated activities and initiatives:
- Launch hands-on industry workshops and training programs hosted by academic institutions, consultants, nonprofits, and independent educational organizations.
- Promote these courses and training programs via online directories and outreach to the alternative protein community.
- Develop a directory of innovation centers at universities, government labs, independent research institutes, nonprofits, and suppliers.
- Create an advisory network of experts, consultants, and mentors to support training.
- Build exemplar manufacturing, R&D, and processing facilities for training and research.
- Develop open-access resources for establishing in-house training programs that startups can leverage.
- Publish high-quality alt protein curricula for templating new certificate and training programs.
These programs would have the potential to supply a steady stream of talent to meet the biomanufacturing, facilities engineering, and operations needs of the alternative protein industry. They could also expand the R&D talent pipeline from scientific communities—cell biology, stem cell biology, biopolymers, materials science, 3D bioprinting—as well as biotech, biopharma, and established ag/food/meat companies. Training and reskilling the labor force to work in alternative proteins will streamline the labor transition needed to scale the alternative protein industry. The need for training and education will also support the creation of new businesses and institutes, thereby facilitating market competition and scientific collaboration that will help generate industry-advancing products, service, and ideas.
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