Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development. If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner.
Man of steel: An interview with Ulrich Albrecht-Frueh, departing CEO of ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA
By Ellen Mitchell, Press-Register
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Before ThyssenKrupp Steel USA decided to sell its complex in Calvert, before the $5 billion facility was even built, Ulrich Albrecht-Frueh was in Alabama, helping plan the future of the Washington County plant.
Albrecht-Frueh, or Uli, as many in Mobile call him, is the departing CEO of ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA. Named to the position in August 2007, Albrecht-Frueh also served on the ThyssenKrupp site selection team that chose the Mobile area for the steel mill.
Many said his outgoing personality made him likeable from the start, and his frequent involvement in community events made him a well-known business figure.
Albrecht-Frueh answered questions for the Press-Register after his return to Europe, addressing topics from what he loves about Mobile to his biggest accomplishments in Calvert and the future of a company that has changed in fundamental ways since its decision to invest in the United States. One of those changes was to isolate its stainless steel business and plans its sale to Outokumpu Oyi of Finland.
Two Alabama state departments to merge
By Antrenise Cole, Birmingham Business Journal
Monday, September 24, 2012
The Alabama Department of Labor will merge with the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations on Oct. 1.
The combined two state agencies will assume the name of the Alabama Department of Labor.
The merger, which is the result of legislation passed in the 2012 regular legislative session, is expected to save approximately $100,000 to $200,000 dollars per year, the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations said in a news release.
Existing ADOL Commissioner Jim Bennett will retire October 1, after 34 years of service in various capacities, and the last nine years as commissioner of the department of labor. ADIR Director Tom Surtees will assume the duties as the commissioner of the newly reorganized Alabama Department of Labor.
[Birmingham Business Journal]
Small businesses still backbone of economy, especially in Huntsville
By Budd McLaughlin, The Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Small businesses are the backbone of the economy.
No one disputes that.
As business editor, I have tried to inform readers on the importance of supporting our small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.
Local businesses such as Camber, Dynetics and Adtran began small and now dominate the landscape at Cummings Research Park, as well as the high-tech business world.
And that's one of the things I will miss when I wrap up my career here at The Times this week.
The future continues to be bright for local entrepreneurs, and there is an opportunity for business professionals to help spur that growth.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is hosting E-Launch - a three-day business plan competition in which UAH students will pitch ideas, form teams, develop business plans and present them to judges.
NIH Awards $1.1M Grant to Mitchell Cancer Institute
The National Institute of Health ("NIH") in Washington, D.C. has announced a grant of $1.1M to support Dr. Lewis J. Pannell's work on an early stage screening test for ovarian cancer at the Mitchell Cancer Institute ("MCI") and the University of South Alabama.
Dr. Pannell is a professor of Oncologic Sciences, as well as head of the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at MCI. Dr. Pannell previously worked for over 20 years as a senior investigator at NIH specializing in proteomics and biomarker research.
Currently, there is no accurate and effective screening test for ovarian cancer. Dr. Pannell explained that "because there are few, if any, clear early symptoms, ovarian cancer is not detected until it has already spread. Many women die from ovarian cancer for one simple reason: they are diagnosed too late to be saved. An early stage screening test would potentially save thousands of lives every year. Women would also be spared the rigorous treatment required after the cancer has spread and our health care system would save hundreds of millions of dollars each year by avoiding the cost of later stage treatment."
Dr. Pannell is working with fellow inventors Dr. Michael Finan and Dr. Rodney Rocconi to develop this screening test. This technology was licensed by Swift Biotechnology, whose development plan for this invention was one of the winners in the 2010 Alabama Launchpad business competition. Swift's President, Dr. Michael Chambers, explained, "This grant is a tremendous honor for Dr. Pannell, USA and the entire MCI team. NIH grant applications are rigorously examined through a two-step peer review process manned by the leaders in their respective fields. By law, only those projects with the most promise, creativity and sound science receive these grants."
Contact: Michael Chambers
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