Vivione Bioscience, a Little Rock based bio-technology company, has donated laboratory vent hoods to the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Vivione Bioscience, a Little Rock based bio-technology company, has donated laboratory vent hoods to the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Vivione Bioscience recently established its Applications Development Laboratory at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, near the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research. The company collaborated with several Arkansas state agencies and university resources to develop new food safety technology including NCTR, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and University of Arkansas Center for Food Safety in Fayetteville.

“We will be able to increase our lab work that requires the use of hazardous chemicals because of the donation of these hoods,” said Rebecca Lochmann, a professor of aquaculture/fish nutrition at UAPB. “Many of the lab procedures that we do for nutrition research require the use of corrosive and otherwise hazardous chemicals, and lab safety is critical for our students and staff,” she said.

Once installed, the hoods will benefit them well into the future, Lochmann said.

“We deeply appreciate the donation of these hoods and are looking forward to safely conducting research with them for many years to come,” she said.

The UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence is recognized as a leader in aquaculture/fisheries teaching, research and Extension programs. Vivione Biosciences’donation to the center augments the company’s support of Arkansas research institutions and schools that specialize in food safety, said Vivione Bioscience CEO Kevin Kuykendall.

“We received economic development incentives from the Jefferson County Alliance and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to buy new equipment, which allowed us to donate our used equipment to UAPB. In effect, Jefferson County and Pine Bluff invested in Vivione, so we invested in the educational system of the community,” Kuykendall said.

“It is great to see Jefferson County benefit twice from the local economic development incentive used by Vivione Bioscience,” said Lou Ann Nisbett, president and CEO of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County. “Incentive funds gave Vivione the opportunity to purchase needed new equipment and then, in turn, to donate their old equipment to a Pine Bluff/Jefferson County lab at the UAPB Fisheries Center. Having that direct value and indirect value is positive for our community. Thanks to Vivione for passing it forward.”

The company is the manufacturer of the new RAPID-B TM diagnostic system which uses one universal platform for diagnostic testing that can detect and quantify bacteria, viruses and toxins. Vivione Bioscience has a public-private collaboration to develop research that will lead the fight against consumer sickness and death attributed to food contamination with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Center for Food Safety, Kuykendall said.

Vivione Biosciences hopes to collaborate with the UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center to offer internships to students who qualify. For more information about Vivione Biosciences visit www.vivionebiosciences.com. For more information about the UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence, visit www.uaex.edu/aqfi or call 870-575-8141.

Bobbie Crockett is an Extension specialist-communications at the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.