The Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has shown a commitment to algae and its future by funding a project to expand education in the algae industry. More specifically, BETO is funding the Algae Technology Education Consortium (ATEC) to expand algae-based educational programs at the community college level.
Why prioritize education? ATEC recently performed a study that found that despite the algae industry’s growing size, trained workers in the algae-space are difficult to find. And the need for such workers will only grow in the coming years as the already $8 billion industry expands.
ATEC offers a variety of programs to solve that deficit. For one, the organization provides a two-year degree program at the community college level to train graduates for entry-level positions in algal farms or aquaculture facilities. ATEC also created a certificate program for those more interested in algal sciences and is currently developing an online course to be made available to the public.
These efforts in support of the algae industry certainly fulfill BETO’s goal to develop biofuels and bioproducts and to thus reduce dependence on petroleum imports. With the great promise shown by the algae industry, this is a great way to invest in and support the industry’s future.
For more details about the programs, visit the BETO’s website.