Gov. Kay Ivey leads ribbon-cutting ceremony for Invention to Innovation Center at UAH

Local, state, and federal officials cut the ribbon to officially open the Invention to Innovation Center (I2C) on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville.


Elected officials, government and business leaders were on hand today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Invention to Innovation Center (I²C) on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The I²C is a regional initiative that fosters, promotes, and accelerates the commercialization of technology-based ventures through incubation, co-working, mentorship, funding, and strategic support.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey led today’s program.

"Today, we are celebrating a new era of innovation in the city of Huntsville and the entire state of Alabama. The Invention to Innovation Center creates the ideal environment to foster STEM-focused learning opportunities, collaboration and new business development," Governor Ivey said. "I look forward to seeing the many bright ideas produced at this remarkable facility for generations to come!"

UAH President Robert Altenkirch said the goal of the I²C is to increase the number of inventions that are developed into successful innovations, startup firms, and growth initiatives.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Invention to Innovation Center (I2C) on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville.


"Success will be measured by (1) increased numbers of high-tech startups, (2) expansion opportunities for existing high-tech companies, and (3) diversification of the employment base to include more private sector jobs," Altenkirch said.

The three-story, 46,650-square-foot building is adjacent to UAH’s College of Business building with direct access provided on the second and third floors. It will also be within walking distance of the M. Louis Salmon Library, the Shelby Center for Science and Technology, and the Engineering Building.

"The I²C space combines three interconnected elements: shared workspace, co-working community, and collaborative co-creation," says Rigved Joshi, who oversees strategy, programming, partnerships, and day-to-day operations at the center. "The I²C facility and programs will support entrepreneurs on building scalable, investable, high growth, technology focused businesses that will serve as catalysts for economic development and regional innovation."

The three-pronged mission of the I²C focuses on:

  • Stimulating growth of new and existing science and engineering high-tech companies
  • Catalyzing formation of a resilient entrepreneurial ecosystem in the northern Alabama and south central Tennessee regions
  • Building partnerships with various entrepreneurial ecosystems and hubs to create pathways that empower, ignite, and motivate the community to make ideas happen.

The I²C serves as the focal point for incubation, education and support for entrepreneurs across the 15-county region in northern Alabama and south central Tennessee.

A number of individuals and groups played an important role in the construction and now the opening of the I²C, including U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, the state of Alabama, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the UAH Foundation, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.