By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Spencer Bachus spoke at the dedication ceremony for the dedication of Southern Research Institute’s (SRI) new engineering research center. Rep. Bachus said that the $5.6 million expansion project will help to drive the innovation that leads to new jobs and economic growth.
Rep. Bachus said in a written statement, “Innovation is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Economic success stories like Apple, Google, and Microsoft all started as new ideas but quickly transformed our daily lives and economy. The Southern Research Institute is a hub for innovation and a leader in providing the basic and applied research that underpins an advanced economy. This impressive new engineering center will help ensure that the Southern Research Institute and the State of Alabama maintain a well-deserved reputation for excellence in research. It will translate into new economic opportunities and better lives for our citizens.”
SRI’s Vice President of Engineering Michael D. Johns said in a written statement, “Over the past five years alone, the engineering division has grown over 60 percent, to now over $36 million in revenue. This is the type of growth the leaders at the Institute envisioned over 20 years ago when we built the first world-class engineering laboratory building on this campus. Two years ago, we had to ask ourselves what are the necessary steps we need to take to continue that growth trajectory? The new ERC Phase II building was the answer.”
The President of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Bill Taylor said, “For Alabama’s economic development, having this world-class engineering institute is critical to supporting the sustainability of companies located here, as well as enhancing our continuing efforts in attracting new industry.”
President and CEO of SRI Dr. John A. “Jack” Secrist III said, “The work of our engineers has been recognized by a number of their clients—most notably NASA— for our efforts on behalf of the space program. And that our engineers so often link with other Alabama research entities proves that our founders were correct that Southern Research Institute could play a supporting role to create new products and technologies here in the state.”
Congresswoman Terri Sewell also spoke at the dedication of the new facility. According to original reporting by the Birmingham News, Rep. Sewell said, “I’m thrilled we got our fair share of contracts with NASA at Southern Research. “I’ll make sure that continues.”
The 19,000 square foot building will support the institute’s space, defense, energy, and environmental research. SRI’s clients include NASA, federal agencies, energy companies, and the defense industry. The new building which was built by Brasfield Gorrie includes 3 large lab bays and two floors of office space. A portion of the expanded facility will be used as an incubator for the commercial development of new ideas that are generated by SRI researchers.
Congressman Spencer Bachus represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.