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last week for regular registration!



Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 


in this issue:
Alabama ag commissioner to Obama, Senate: Pass three free trade agreements - Birmingham News
Project Omega may land Alabama new industry, jobs - Birmingham News
Kaiser Aircraft buys stake in Birmingham's Alabama Aircraft - Birmingham News
Huntsville company named 'top performer' in simulation, modeling and training industry - Huntsville Times
Huntsville-based AEgis Technologies turns military training technology into fun and games - Huntsville Times
Huntsville-based business is No. 10 on Inc. list of fastest-growing private U.S. companies - Huntsville Times
Alabama Launchpad Business Plan Competition kicks off...Prizes increase from $175,000 to $450,000
Houston County Distribution Park receives AdvantageSite designation

Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 3:41 PM     Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011, 3:54 PM
By  The Birmingham News

"Alabama is well positioned to benefit from expanded trade with South Korea, with whom we have good relationships," he said.


McMillan said Alabama products would become more affordable to Korean consumers and more than half of the state's exports there would be duty-free within five years. More than 95 percent of the U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products would have tariffs eliminated in the same time period.

Birmingham News 




Project Omega may land Alabama new industry, jobs

Published: Sunday, September 11, 2011, 2:20 PM     Updated: Sunday, September 11, 2011, 3:10 PM


A manufacturing project plans to come to Alabama, investing up to $110 mil­lion and creating hundreds of jobs and giving the state a foothold on a new indus­try that could lead to suppliers and other manufac­turers, parties close to the negotiations said.


An announcement could come as soon as this week from the company, known to economic developers as Project Omega. The project is said to have just under 500 jobs and could have a capital investment of be­tween $70 million and $110 million.


Economic developers from the Alabama Develop­ment Office along with Gov. Robert Bentley's office have been working to lure the project to the state for several months. The city of Opelika Economic Devel­opment Office said Friday it plans an announcement on Tuesday.


Officials with knowledge of the company are not confirming its identity but confirmed it is in the health care/dietary supplement industry, a growing manufacturing segment. Like automotive and other industries that have grown in the state, officials said they are excited to win this first one not only for the jobs and investment it will bring, but also for the suppliers and similar industries that may now consider the state for future operations.


Birmingham News 




Kaiser Aircraft buys stake in Birmingham's Alabama Aircraft

Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 2:48 PM     Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011, 2:56 PM

By The Birmingham News The Birmingham News


A "substantial portion" of Birmingham-based Alabama Aircraft Industries Inc. has been acquired by Kaiser Aircraft Industries Inc., Kaiser announced today.


The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.


Kaiser intends to bring the Birmingham business more commercial customers, and the deal "will save and create hundreds of jobs in the Birmingham, Alabama area," the company said in a prepared statement.


"We are excited by the prospects for KAII for substantial growth and profitability," said Doug McMinn, Kaiser president and CEO.


Alabama Aircraft was founded in Birmingham in 1951 to service military aircraft.


Birmingham News 



Huntsville company named 'top performer' in simulation, modeling and training industry
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 8:06 AM     Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011, 8:08 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Simulation, modeling and training is one of the fastest growing industries, and a Huntsville-based company has been named a top performer.

Tec-Masters was recognized by Military Training Technology magazine as a 2011 Top Simulation and Training Company. It was cited for "making a significant impact" across the spectrum of technologies and services.


The award is for companies that "deliver products and services that allow U.S. airmen, Marines, sailors, soldiers and Coast Guardsmen to train and rehearse for missions in theater, or to prepare for deployment at home station."


The magazine said companies were selected based on criteria that included total military sales volume, innovation and program effectiveness.

Huntsville Times 



Huntsville-based AEgis Technologies turns military training technology into fun and games
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 8:08 AM     Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011, 12:32 PM


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama --  So what do you do with models for simulation and training after they're used by military customers?


It's a question that Huntsville-based AEgis Technologies has answered ... and to a whole, new audience.

Games for iPads.


AEgis, which provides expert modeling & simulation and nanotechnology development services to industries throughout the world, has provided 3D model content from its 3D Elements model library for an iPad military simulation game called "ArmedForceHD." The game was released last month by Airborne Games and is available on iTunes.


For AEgis, this is a new market area, though it's not the first time its models - which are also being used by analysts for homeland defense security applications - have been used for games. AEgis 3D Elements models have also been used in the Virtual Battlespace 2 battlefield simulation system.


"We worked with AEgis Technologies on several of our models because we liked the quality and detail of the model they provided and they were flexible in providing us the formats we like to use in our game environment," said Victor Gerth, president of Airborne Games. "AEgis had a wide variety of models to select from, providing us creative freedom while developing the storyboard and strategies for the game."


The new market also brings an air of excitement to AEgis.


"This is definitely exciting," said AEgis business development analyst Georgina Chapman. "We see this as being a great success story."

Huntsville Times 




Huntsville-based business is No. 10 on Inc. list of fastest-growing private U.S. companies

Published: Sunday, September 11, 2011, 12:06 PM     Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011, 12:41 PM


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- A simple sign bearing the company's name marks the corporate headquarters of Connected Logistics. Inside the suite in Building 2 at Progress Center, you won't find a fancy lobby and no-frills offices are standard here, even for CEO Forrest Burke.


This is the same company that was just ranked 10th on Inc. magazine's 2011 list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country.


"It's one of the biggest firms in Huntsville nobody has heard of," says Burke. "But that's OK."


The rewarding part of the work, he said, isn't the remarkable growth or the accolades, but "having soldiers thank you because they got their supplies faster."


Connected Logistics, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, works with government and corporate clients in designing and managing complex, large-scale supply chain and information networks. Among its customers are the Department of the Army, Army Materiel Command, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, Defense Logistics Agency and large federal contractors.


"We help government migrate to cloud computing," Burke said. "It allows you to implement software changes more quickly at lower costs and allows you to manage user activity and defend the network more consistently."



Huntsville Times 



Alabama Launchpad Business Plan Competition kicks off

Prizes increase from $175,000 to $450,000 in season six.


Registration for the sixth annual Alabama Launchpad business competition is open, with more prizes, more networking, and more mentoring opportunities.  Up to 25 teams will be admitted to participate, and Alabama Launchpad will provide each of these teams a Frost & Sullivan rapid market assessment, commercially valued at $10,000. 


Accepted teams will be staged as "pre-seed" or "seed ready".  The "pre-seed" teams may compete for $20,000 proof of concept awards, and will be eligible to enter the competition again in future years to compete for follow on seed funding.  The seed ready track companies will compete for a grand prize of up to $100,000.



  • Up to $250,000 in market assessment awards
  • Up to a $100,000 grand prize
  • Up to $100,000 in proof of concept awards


The application is available for download at the link below. 


The application deadline is  Monday, October 10 (1:00 pm)



Houston County Distribution Park receives AdvantageSite designation


BIRMINGHAM, Ala., September 12 - Houston County Distribution Park has received an Alabama

AdvantageSite designation.


The AdvantageSite program requires that community economic development organizations provide

documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/

control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size,

zoning and accessibility requirements.


The Houston County Distribution Park is located one mile east of US 231 off Country Road 55 on the State

line of Alabama and Florida.


"The Houston County Commission along with the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of

Dothan have a great and dynamic alliance that fuel our economic development efforts," said Mark Culver,

chairman of the Houston County Commission. "The AdvantageSite designation emphasizes the

opportunities we have for positive change through partnerships. This is a team project to meet this standard

and I want to thank the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, Southeast Alabama Gas District, CenturyLink,

Alabama Power, the Dothan Chamber of Commerce Staff, and Polyengineering for helping us achieve this

status on this site. The Advantage Site designation not only shows that we are serious about attracting new

industry to our area, but also is a reflection of the unified team we have in our community to work on

development opportunities. Good things happen together as a team."


AdvantageSite is jointly sponsored by the Alabama Development Office, Alabama Gas Corporation,

Alabama Power Company, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association, PowerSouth Energy

Cooperative, and coordinated by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Representatives from

each of the entities actively participate in application reviews and on-site visits to prospective

AdvantageSite designees.


"We are pleased to add the Houston County Distribution Park to the list of AdvantageSites in Alabama,"

said Greg Knighton, EDPA vice president and director of business information. " We believe this

designation will further aid the economic development efforts for this fast growing area of Alabama along

the Interstate -10 corridor."


AdvantageSite is a voluntary industrial site preparedness program created in order to make the state more

competitive for companies considering a location in Alabama.


For more information on the AdvantageSite program, please visit www.edpa.org/bsc/advantagesites.asp.



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Wendy Wallace Johnson
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