“Good enough” is never really good enough.
Alabama is home to the world’s fourth-largest research park, top-performing research universities such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and proven business incubators.
These organizations, along with scores of forward-thinking companies across the state, boast smart and determined workforces committed to uncovering new insights. They are responsible for internationally recognized drug discoveries, putting people and spacecraft into orbit, and reinventing how vehicles are manufactured.
From fighting cancer to flying to Mars, the great minds and talent at Southern Research in Birmingham are providing revolutionary exploration. Southern Research, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), is a valuable resource to help businesses with everything from material improvement to energy efficiency.
Cummings Research Park
Cummings Research Park is a model for transforming research into business success. Comprising a successful blend of Fortune 500 companies, Cummings Research Park employs a staggering 29,000 workers among its 300 companies. The mixture of high-tech enterprises, business incubators, space and defense agencies, and high-education institutions at Cummings Research Park make up 1.3% of Alabama’s employment and generate around $280 million annually in state and local taxes from direct and indirect employment.
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville leads the nation in research on the human genome. The non-profit institute is on 153 acres in the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus — the nation’s second largest research park. Housed in a 270,000-square-foot facility, HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of conducting genomics-based research to improve human health and well-being, sparking economic development, and providing educational outreach to nurture the next generation of biotech researchers and entrepreneurs.
Named for its proximity to Birmingham’s Railroad Reservation, Innovation Depot – an incubator of industrial development – expresses Birmingham’s devotion to advance technology, entrepreneurship and promising startup firms in the region. Built in 2007, the 145,000-square-foot facility was to designed to house up to 75 businesses and give entrepreneurs a competitive advantage in attracting customers, talent, mentors, and funding to grow their businesses. By 2011, Innovation Depot’s economic impact was estimated at more than $1 billion.
Robotics Technology Park
Made up of Calhoun Community College, globally recognized robotics companies, and Alabama’s highly regarded workforce development agency, AIDT, the Alabama Robotics Technology Park is a testament to the state’s ability to enhance education, research and training within the robotics sector. With a $73 million training facility, RTP can train up to 2,000 people a day in how to work automation equipment, new business installation software and cutting-edge technology used in military defense, space exploration and advanced manufacturing.
University of South Alabama Research Park
The USA Technology and Research Park, launched in 2002, is a major economic initiative of the University of South Alabama. Located on 160 acres just north of the main university campus, the park marries university resources with innovative enterprises in a single location that broadens educational experiences for students, generates new research opportunities for faculty, and offers growth prospects for industry.
Alabama possesses a history of fostering brilliance and inspiring great ideas that have lasting, worldwide impact, dating back to the days when the Wright brothers opened their first civilian flight school in Alabama more than a century ago. With the backing of organizations such as Alabama Launchpad, the Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence and Innovation Depot that strengthen the entrepreneurial climate by linking entrepreneurs with universities, inventors and investors, there’s no telling where Alabama will be in another 100 years.
At Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park, new ideas flow every day from cutting-edge companies and one of the world’s brightest research institutions, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a pioneer in genomics research. In Birmingham, Southern Research has been responsible for discovering seven FDA-approved cancer drugs, and UAB hosts one of the nation’s top medical school programs and a certified Comprehensive Cancer and Comprehensive Stroke Center.
There are also resources for startups. Alabama Launchpad is a nonprofit dedicated to support and promote high-growth entrepreneurship and innovation in the state. Through its business plan competition and other programs, Alabama Launchpad provides a framework for entrepreneurs with business ideas to connect with a network of experts, investors and service providers who can increase the odds of success. Alabama Launchpad provides unique opportunities to obtain startup capital, receive expert guidance and establish working relationships with the business, academic and investment capital communities.