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Research & Development

Innovation has always been a catalyst for competition and success in Alabama. Rich with startups, incubators, universities, and with an exemplary workforce, good ideas are a currency in our state.

It takes more than good ideas to invent a better world— it takes dedication. Alabama colleges and universities recorded $820 million in research and development expenditures in 2013, while more than 5,000 jobs in Alabama represent positions dedicated to technological and societal advancement.

There’s a strong commitment to address the future challenges. Birmingham-based Southern Research, which has a long-standing focus on life sciences, has discovered no fewer than seven FDA-approved cancer drugs. Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology conducts cutting-edge research on genomics. It’s located in Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the U.S. Marshall Space Flight Center is a major NASA research, development, testing, and engineering center advancing the nation’s space program.

Redstone Arsenal is responsible for many of the U.S. Army’s missile defense and aviation programs. On the corporate side, formidable industry leaders include Boeing, Airbus, Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz all contribute to Alabama’s earned reputation for innovation.

Alabama’s universities help to supply Alabama with a resourceful workforce. Students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are able to conduct research side by side with experts from NASA, the U.S. Army, the Missile Defense Agency and other agencies. The Auburn University Huntsville Research Center matches Auburn’s research capacities with the needs of Huntsville’s agencies and industries. The University of Alabama offers a research program called The Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs (AIME) designed to bring together students studying market research and business development and entrepreneurial training. UAB is home to the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration, whose research crosses physics, chemistry, cell biology, materials, mechanical, and biomedical engineering disciplines.

Quick Facts

  • 5,000 jobs in companies dedicated to research and development
  • $820 million in research and development (R&D) expenditures at colleges and universities in 2013.
  • 7 FDA-approved cancer drugs by Southern Research
  • Alabama has the fourth lowest cost of doing business
  • Seventh lowest cost of living in the United States

Research and Development Companies

  • The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
  • Innovation Depot
  • Auburn Research Park
  • University of South Alabama’s Biotechnical Research Unit
  • Southern Research Institute
  • USA Mitchell Cancer Center
  • BioCryst
  • Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs (AIME)

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