Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Tech Collective Releases Rhode Island Bioscience Workforce Skills Gap Study

Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology industry association, today released its Rhode Island Bioscience Skills Gap Study. The report can be downloaded at; copies will be distributed at the Bioscience Industry Skills Gap Forum on Wednesday, March 26th from 8:30-10:30am at Save the Bay in Providence. Panelists from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, EpiVax, Inc., Tedor Pharma, and Amgen will discuss the report and bioscience workforce challenges and approaches (see below for panelists and more information).

The bioscience skills gap report profiles the burgeoning bioscience industry in Rhode Island and comprehensively focuses on its workforce needs. Career and professional development opportunities are explored along with K-12 education pathways. Concluding the report are recommendations to foster workforce and industry growth.

Included in the report is a timeline identifying bioscience industry development, workforce training, and K-16 education achievements over the past decade. In looking at the bioscience industry as a young innovation ecosystem, the report also cites the need for industry, academic, and government support. Other competitive factors influencing the industry are noted, including access to capital, infrastructure, and research facilities.

The report follows Tech Collective’s 2009 At the Heart of Bioscience: Rhode Island Skills Gap Report. The updated bioscience industry study was researched and compiled using local and national industry data and garnering Rhode Island employer insights via focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and an employer survey. Findings of the report aim to raise awareness of and guide investments in Rhode Island’s bioscience workforce. The Rhode Island Bioscience Skills Gap Study was funded by an Industry Partnership grant through the Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island (GWBRI).

“Rhode Island’s bioscience industry is one of high-potential – both to impact the Rhode Island economy and workforce, as well as to improve our global well-being,” said Kathie Shields, executive director of Tech Collective. “The purpose of the bioscience skills gap report is to foster that potential through identifying the workforce needs of this industry and offering recommendations to meet those needs. Tech Collective looks forward to working with the industry and academic and government stakeholders to support and strengthen Rhode Island’s bioscience industry.”

Industry Overview

Rhode Island employs 4,602 bioscience professionals across the industry and has a total employment impact of an additional 11,847 workers. The bioscience industry participates on national and global levels and is comprised of five sectors: drugs and pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical laboratories; agricultural feedstock and biofuels; and bioscience-related distribution. Rhode Island’s greatest strengths lie in drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and research and development.

Report Findings

Bioscience leaders we spoke with expressed optimism and growth, with 90 percent of respondents anticipating their company will expand in the next 3-5 years. Still, employers indicated their biggest workforce challenge is a lack of skilled workers to hire.

In a highly specialized industry, workers proficient in both technical and professional skill sets are valued by employers. Technical skills gaps included: technical writing/documentation, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, research, and Good Clinical/Laboratory/Manufacturing Practice (GCP, GLP, and GMP, respectively). Professional skills gaps included: critical thinking, communications, teamwork, leadership, cultural awareness, project management, and the ability to work independently. Employers also look to retain workers with interdisciplinary knowledge in business operations, manufacturing, and other areas related to the biosciences.

Looking at bioscience education and career pathways, the report identifies entry-level requirements, professional development training methods and priorities, and K-12 and higher education programs. Experiential learning was identified as one of the most important ways to bridge bioscience studies with industry experience. Especially Rhode Island’s smaller bioscience companies are receptive to internships, work experience, and mentoring the incoming workforce.


Recommendations following the report aim to inspire and engage youth in the STEM fields through the state’s Bioscience Academies, integration into K-12 curriculum, and integrated or after school STEM programs; support for and increased participation in higher education and experiential learning opportunities; expanded workforce training and professional development funding; and increased industry awareness and advocacy, including support of the Economic Intersections of Rhode Island action agenda led by Commerce RI and the Rhode Island Foundation.

Skills Gap Forum: Bioscience Industry

Kicking off the bioscience focus of Tech Collective’s Skills Gap Series, the Bioscience Industry panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 from 8:30-10:30am at Save the Bay in Providence. Industry panelists will discuss the findings of the report as well as current and future initiatives the state can undertake to grow and innovate in the industry. Panelists:

  • Karen DaSilva, Associate Director, Human Resources, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • Cliff Grimm, Managing Director, EpiVax, Inc.
  • Matthew Iorio, Executive Vice President, Tedor Pharma
  • Katherine Chaloupka, Senior Scientist, Process Development, Amgen

The Skills Gap Series forums are open to the public. Industry, academic, and state leaders and stakeholders are encouraged to attend. For more information or attend, visit

About Tech Collective: Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $8M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration, awareness and development through events and initiatives including: the Tech10 awards, the Rhode Island Bioscience Awards, GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. Get connected to Tech Collective at, on Facebook (TechCollectiveRI), and on Twitter (@Tech_Collective).

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Machkey International Company will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Machkey provides advanced connectivity solutions for just about everyone. Businesses or individuals, Machkey is dedicated to provide high-quality and cost-effective products to meet all your needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Agema Systems will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Agema Systems is the leading provider of critical white-box rack solutions to data centers through the major integrators and value added distribution channels.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text...
SYS-CON Events announced today that JFrog, maker of Artifactory, the popular Binary Repository Manager, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in California, Israel and France, founded by longtime field-experts, JFrog, creator of Artifactory and Bintray, has provided the market with the first Binary Repository solution and a software distribution social platform.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingl...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
Interested in leveraging automation technologies and a cloud architecture to make developers more productive? Learn how PaaS can benefit your organization to help you streamline your application development, allow you to use existing infrastructure and improve operational efficiencies. Begin charting your path to PaaS with OpenShift Enterprise.
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
DevOps is gaining traction in the federal government – and for good reasons. Heightened user expectations are pushing IT organizations to accelerate application development and support more innovation. At the same time, budgetary constraints require that agencies find ways to decrease the cost of developing, maintaining, and running applications. IT now faces a daunting task: do more and react faster than ever before – all with fewer resources.
DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago. By definition, DevOps is the natural alignment of IT performance to business profitability. The relevance of this has yet to be quantified but it has been suggested that the route to the CEO’s chair will come from the IT leaders that successfully ma...
According to Forrester, public cloud platforms are evolving, blurring the lines between Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) in order to satisfy the needs of enterprises and widen their appeal to developers. In The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Public Cloud Platforms, Q4 2014, Forrester evaluates the 16 most significant Enterprise Public Cloud Platforms and details how each vendor fulfills the 19 evaluation criteria points.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...