Tracing the emerging growth and success of biotech in Alabama

Alabama ranks among the top 10 states in America in the growth of biotech research. It has been a long journey, but well worth it for the state, the industry and especially for consumers and businesses who benefit from the findings. In fact, Alabama’s biotech startups have drawn well over $100 million in venture capital over the past five years alone.

With biotechnology being such a dynamic and competitive field for economic development and business growth, The Birmingham Times put together a three-part series to show how the industry took off in Alabama and where it’s headed.

State’s Future in Biotech Began with Groundbreaking Work of Dr. George W. Carver
Part one of the series recalls how Alabama’s biotech history began over a century ago with the groundbreaking work of Dr. George Washington Carver. It traces his career at what is now Tuskegee University and how it helped lay the groundwork for future research facilities and medical centers, including the Southern Research Institute and the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  Read story >

Alabama Biotech Industry was Slow in the Beginning but Seeing Steady Growth
The second installment picks up in the 1970s when the biotech industry was really emerging and gaining a foothold in the state. Leading the way was Avanti Polar Lipids. The article summarizes Avanti’s slow but steady growth during that time, which could also serve as a metaphor for the development of the state’s biotechnology sector in general. Read story >

Alabama’s Biotech Industry’s Steady Growth Creating Jobs for the Future
The series concludes with how the ongoing – and of late, accelerating – evolution of Alabama’s biotech sector stemmed from the outgrowth of change in the state’s economic development strategy that began in the mid-1980s. It was a time when biotech ventures across the state were finding success. It’s those success stories that helped launch today’s efforts – Innovation Depot and Bronze Valley – that will continue to push the industry and state forward. Read story >

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