UAH receives $3 million EDA grant to build invention to innovation center

innovation center

The University of Alabama in Huntsville has been awarded a grant of nearly $3 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration that will be used for the construction of a technology business incubator, according to an announcement made today by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby.

"The grant award announced today is a significant step towards turning The University of Alabama in Huntsville's vision to establish an innovative and job-creating business incubator into reality," said Senator Shelby. "This public-private partnership will leverage the university's research expertise to spur job creation, attract further business investment, and produce more local jobs. I am proud to have worked with the university to help secure this competitive funding and will continue working to secure full federal support for this important economic venture."

The Invention to Innovation Center (I2C) will provide physical facilities, activities and services to support inventors, entrepreneurs, high-tech companies and partners in the innovation process. It will build a virtual network of relationships to engage and grow the innovation capacity within the region.

Specifically, the I2C will:

  • 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 ecosystem 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

Sen. Richard Shelby

I2C will take advantage of resources on the UAH campus and in the larger region. UAH has experience in technology commercialization, as well as unique laboratories and capabilities that can assist inventors with developing and testing prototypes. Graduate students, business counselors and mentors will help inventors explore market opportunities and build businesses.

"The funding of this initiative by the Economic Development Administration is important to stimulate the growth of new and existing high-tech companies, and to catalyze formation of a resilient entrepreneurial ecosystem in the greater Huntsville area," said UAH President Robert Altenkirch. "The support we have received from U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby was an important part in making funding for this project a success. We are truly appreciative of his efforts and his continued vision for this university and region."

The exact amount of the grant is $2,987,340.