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Governor awards $4.85 million for innovation, research in Alabama

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants.


Governor Kay Ivey has awarded $4.85 million to encourage new and continuing research that will result in innovations to improve life in Alabama and beyond.

The grants, awarded to five Alabama universities and a research institution, are from the Alabama Research and Development Enhancement Fund. The state-funded program was created in 2019 under the Alabama Innovation Act which was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Ivey.

“Our universities and research institutions in Alabama truly impact the world, and I am proud to continue investing in the important work they are doing,” Ivey said. “This $4.85 million is an investment in the future of Alabama and the future of research.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants.

“ADECA joins with Gov. Ivey in encouraging research and innovation in Alabama’s universities and research centers,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “Often what comes out of the research labs and fields has far-reaching and life-changing effects. We look forward to seeing the fruits of these research projects in the future.”

Those awarded grants are:

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville: $603,206 – To train students on advanced manufacturing processes.
  • HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology (Huntsville): $968,365 – To develop better agriculture seed varieties to produce healthier and more productive crops.  HudsonAlpha is collaborating with Alabama A&M University and Auburn University on the project.
  • University of North Alabama: $10,353- To research the development of an ultra-sensitive biosensor with the outcome resulting in improvements in the food and health-care industries.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham: $700,000 – To develop a process to improve the effectiveness of a procedure used to help amputees; and $635,927 – To develop more effective pneumococcal vaccines.
  • Auburn University: $727,677 – To research producing jet and diesel fuels from woody biomass and waste plastics; $294,008 – To research and access the economic feasibility of converting organic wastes into bioplastics; $268,353 – To conduct research involving polymer smart machines; and $300,432- To develop soybean hulls as a means to keep aquaculture feed pellets in mass resulting in less waste and more intake by farm-raised fish and shellfish.
  • The University of Alabama: $341,679 – To conduct research to improve building and transportation infrastructure.

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.

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