Montgomery College Signs MOU with KeyGene USA

On April 30, Montgomery College signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KeyGene USA, the crop innovation company, located in Rockville, MD. KeyGene USA is the US subsidiary of KeyGene an agricultural biotechnology company with demonstrated expertise in molecular breeding, genomics and accelerated crop improvement using non-GM approaches.

Montgomery College and KeyGene are expanding their existing partnership with BIOTrain and internships. Under this MOU, KeyGene will collaborate with the College to develop and deliver new educational opportunities by outlining the features and benefits of modern techniques in agricultural biotechnology and molecular genetics, including those that have been pioneered by KeyGene and their partners over the last 25 years. The MOU will also include a seminar outlining the current state of the GM versus non-GM debate -- a topic of broader interest to the community.

The purpose of the MOU is to close skill gaps, enable entry into the biotech industry and advancement for those already in the industry. Montgomery College and KeyGene share the goal of providing the best workforce education and training. This includes developing internship and job opportunities within KeyGene that can be available for qualified Montgomery College students and graduates. KeyGene has already hired two MC biotech students.

At the ceremony, Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, KeyGene USA signed the MOU with Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne Pollard.

Thomas Fuerst, Ph.D., Director, Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Research was in attendance.

Event Speakers:
Mrs. Joenneke BalfoortDeputy-Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Sonny Ramaswamy, Ph.D., Director of National Institute of Food and AgricultureJoe Bartenfelder, Secretary, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Benjamin Wu,, Deputy-Secretary of Maryland, Department of Business and Economic Development
Isaiah Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County, Maryland

Closing remarks were delivered by Arjen van Tunen, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, KeyGene Netherlands.


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On September 16, 1946, the first Montgomery College classes were held in the evenings at a local high school with a student body of 186 men and women. Today, the College has grown to a multi-campus institution and serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.