BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Birmingham’s rich entrepreneurial landscape will be in the spotlight this week, as inventors, investors and the new technologies they created are celebrated.
Innovation Week Birmingham events include a solar eclipse viewing party, a panel discussion on how technology is changing Birmingham’s hospitality industry and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama’s “imerge” event and 2017 Innovation Awards, featuring Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Thomas L. Friedman as keynote speaker.
In other sessions, experts will discuss topics such as virtual reality, solar energy technology and the basics of patents, and there will be a ZYP bike tour of the city’s innovation centers.
Commercialization Accelerator, which is designed to provide critical support to startups in the earliest stages of development.
The festivities kick off today with a ribbon cutting at Innovation Depot, followed by a block party between The Pizitz and McWane Science Center. Check out the full schedule.
“Innovation Week provides a unique convergence of information technology, cyber-security, digital entertainment, biotechnology and international trade that cuts across Birmingham’s public and private sectors,” said Jon Nugent, vice president of innovation and technology at the Birmingham Business Alliance.
“The breadth and scale of innovation in Birmingham is a differentiating factor for our region. It fuels new products, services and processes, ultimately creating new jobs and improving the standard of living for residents in and around the city.”
“Innovation Week is important in our region as it celebrates the accomplishments of all our innovators and inspires all in our region to innovate.”The fourth annual Innovation Week Birmingham is presented by PNC Bank and sponsored by America’s First Federal Credit Union, Protective Life Corp. and Spectrum Enterprise.
The event is a partnership between Birmingham Business Alliance, Birmingham Venture Club, City of Birmingham, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Innovation Depot, REV Birmingham, Southern Research, TechBirmingham and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“Innovation Week is important in our region as it celebrates the accomplishments of all our innovators and inspires all in our region to innovate,” said Arthur Tipton, president and CEO of Southern Research.
“I am fortunate to be part of an organization where innovation has been at our core for 75 years. But innovation is not only the purview of scientists and engineers such as those at Southern Research,” he added. “Innovation is part of every new startup, every improvement in a manufacturing process, or the vision of a group of leaders who saw the possibility of National Monument designation for the Birmingham Civil Rights district.”
Southern Research is hosting a solar eclipse viewing party on Monday at its Birmingham campus, and technology it developed is being used in a groundbreaking mission that day to capture data on the Sun’s outer atmosphere and the surface of Mars.