The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is receiving a major funding boost for its proposed $10 million technology business incubator.
The United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded UAH a grant of nearly $3 million for its proposed Invention to Innovation Center (I2C), which will be constructed adjacent to the university’s Business Administration Building. This proposed center is designed help support startups in high-tech fields while creating an additional network for collaboration and growth in Huntsville.
“The grant award announced today is a significant step towards turning UAH’s vision to establish an innovative and job-creating business incubator into reality,” says U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), “This public-private partnership will leverage the university’s research expertise to spur job creation, attract further business investment and produce more local jobs.”
The university has set out four objectives for the I2C:
- Provide space for start-ups, innovation teams and corporate partners to work together in an environment conducive to collaboration
- Identify and catalyze opportunities for start-ups and innovation from the inventions developed by UAH, federal research agencies on Redstone Arsenal and the larger high-tech community
- Build a regional innovation “econsystem” linked by in-person and online mentoring and training programs and activities
- Diversify the greater Huntsville regional industry base to reduce dependence on federal funding
This federal grant covers approximately 30 percent of the overall cost, and UAH leaders say they will continue to seek other federal funding sources to complement this funding source along with state budget allocations. There is currently no timetable for construction, but the university hopes to secure all funds before the end of 2015.
“The funding of this initiative by the EDA is important to stimulate the growth of new and existing high-tech companies, and to catalyze formation of a resilient entrepreneurial ‘econsystem’ in the greater Huntsville area,” says UAH president Robert Altenkirch, “The support we have received from U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby was an important part in marking funding for this project a success. We are truly appreciative of his efforts and his continued vision for this university and region.”
Part of the United States Department of Commerce, the EDA invests in “economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers.”
September 29, 2015