Biopharmaceuticals are an enormously important and rapidly changing market sector. Revenues from biopharmaceutical products have grown by >6000% since 1990, and the global biopharmaceutical market is projected to reach ~$500 billion by 2025. Medical breakthroughs using gene and cell therapies have driven dramatic shifts in the composition and diversity of products and pipeline. Meanwhile, technological advances in data science, analytics, automation, and manufacturing as well as unprecedented new needs in global medicine and public health are fundamentally and continuously altering the discovery and development landscape. Producing an ever-expanding range of new medicines quickly, safely, and cost-effectively requires committed partnerships – industry-academia, industry-industry, and industry-government – as well as innovative educational infrastructure to train the next generation of scientists, spur collaborative thinking, and seed new ideas. The frameworks surrounding partnership and training are clearly synergistic. For example, strategic collaboration between universities and industry has proven benefits for driving innovation, creating effective leaders, and catalyzing ground-breaking advances in the drug development arena.
The NIIMBL eXperience offers college freshmen and sophomores real-world insight into career possibilities in the biopharmaceutical industry through direct interactions with industry professionals. During a multi-week virtual program, students learn about the operations of large biomanufacturers, cutting edge technologies of small companies, training and education paths from academic institutions, and how the federal government plays a role in bringing life-saving treatments to patients. The program targets African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino(a), and Native American students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and NIIMBL member institutions. It is open to students enrolled in any STEM-based major.