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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


In this issue:
Innovation Depot releases 2012 year-end report
Alabama Launchpad participant VIPAAR expands services to IPads, smartphones
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby: Airbus, Port of Mobile bright spots; sequestration 'brutal
New Redstone Arsenal office provides information technology purchasing support for entire Department
Albertville getting help from Alabama A&M student
Shoals shares success Entrepreneurial center a role model for similar projects across the US
Dorothy Davidson will take over Huntsville technology company founded by husband



Innovation Depot releases 2012 year-end report

Yann Ranaivo/ Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal

Mar 11, 2013


The downtown Birmingham-based Innovation Depot had 12 graduates and 22 new clients in 2012, according to a year-end report released today.


Top officials with the Depot, a major incubator of mostly technology-related start-ups and early stage companies, met with me today to share some of the report's highlights.


Susan Matlock, the Depot's president and CEO, said the number of applicants versus those who were actually admitted shows the incubator is geared toward investing in companies with growth potential, not just renting space to small businesses.


The Depot's 22 clients in 2012 came from a pool of 122 applicants, according to the report. By year's end, the incubator had 91 client companies, employing approximately 500 employees.



[Birmingham Business Journal]

























Alabama Launchpad participant VIPAAR expands services to IPads, smartphones
Yann Ranaivo/Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
 Mar 11, 2013

A Birmingham-based company that has developed a technology to assist remote clients has made its product accessible on smartphones and Apple iPads.


Drew Deaton, CEO of VIPAAR, based at business incubator the Innovation Depot, said his company made its product widely available on an app about two months ago.


As I reported in the BBJ's March 8 print edition, VIPAAR, which has been at the Depot since 2010, sells a technology that allows experts to use a live video stream to guide remote clients in completing tasks such as repairing industrial equipment. The technology, delivered through other platforms such as desktop computers and televisions, includes a component of virtual reality in which the expert can place his or her hands in the video to make it appear as if the expert is taking the client's position.


Deaton didn't disclose exact figures for how much he expects usage of the product to spike, but said porting it to an app can bring it more into mainstream usage. VIPAAR is a  2010 alumni of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation's Alabama Launchpad competition, which promotes and rewards high-growth, innovative startups from across the state.




[Birmingham Business Journal]

































U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby: Airbus, Port of Mobile bright spots; sequestration 'brutal'
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on March 11, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby pulled few punches Monday addressing the state of the national economy, but he did offer a few reasons to be hopeful about Mobile's economic future.


"I'm going to be working to get suppliers here," Shelby told several hundred gathered at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel for a breakfast briefing that covered everything from sequestration and gun control to immigration and the strength of the Port of Mobile.


Shelby promised his continued support as Mobile prepares to welcome Airbus and the construction of a $600 million aircraft assembly plant at Brookley Aeroplex, and he likened the process to that which he helped spearhead following Mercedes-Benz' selection of Vance, Ala., for Alabama's first automotive manufacturing facility.


Today the state boasts record-setting facilities for Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai as well as an expansive supplier network few imagined possible in 1993, he said, and that all began by courting German suppliers 20 years ago who had never even heard of Alabama.


























New Redstone Arsenal office provides information technology purchasing support for entire Department of Defense
By Leada Gore | lgore@al.com 
on March 11, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Department of Defense customers wanting to purchase hardware, software or technical services now have a one-stop shop at the new Redstone Arsenal-based Information Technology Service Office.


The service office, known as ITS, was created after Huntsville Center's Contracting Directorate at Redstone noticed more customers with questions about purchasing information technology hardware, software and technical services.


"Caring for these customers under a specialized program was a natural fit to implement an optimal IT procurement strategy in the best interest of the government," said Terry Patton, ITS program manager.


"We formed to directly support Defense Department customers by ensuring quality and oversight control throughout the life of the contract. By leveraging our specialized IT acquisition experience and knowledge, our team prides itself in handling IT procurement from the 'cradle to the grave.'"







































Albertville getting help from Alabama A&M students

By Tim  Reid Posted

 on March 8, 2013


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY)-Some local university students in Huntsville are working hand in hand with city leaders in Albertville to improve the cities growth.


Braque Talley is one of twelve Alabama A&M graduate students who are working with city leaders to develop a comprehensive plan for Albertville.


The students get school credit, but they also get the chance to see their ideas implemented in the real world.


 "We've had the opportunity to meet with city officials and with community stake holders to talk about the vision for their city. We've done a background analysis on the population and income, housing and things like that in the city" Talley said.


The graduate students all have different roles, some focus on population, infrastructure, transportation, and some on economic development.


































Shoals shares success Entrepreneurial center a role model for similar projects across the US
By Russ Corey - TNValleyNow.com

FLORENCE - When West Texas A&M University was developing its new enterprise center, the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center was one of several business incubators co-founder David Terry visited for ideas.


Terry, executive director of WTAMU Enterprise Center, said he brought back valuable information from his visit. That was about 10 years ago, about a year after his facility opened.


Terry is just one of many people in the incubator business who has visited the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center since it opened in 1992 on Northington Court in the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park.


In addition to the Northington Court complex, the center operates the Jerry W. Davis Complex for Manufacturing on Helton Drive in the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park, the Sheffield Complex for professional and creative incubation, and the Florence Kitchen Incubator at the old Burrell Slater School.


Giles McDaniel, who took over as director five years ago after the death of longtime director Jerry Davis, said the Entrepreneurial Center has expanded to meet the needs of the community.


"We have been in operation 20 years now, so we have morphed ourself just like a business," McDaniel said. "We do so much and touch so many things."




[Decatur Daily]




































Dorothy Davidson will take over Huntsville technology company founded by husband
By Lee Roop | lroop@al.com 
on March 11, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Huntsville businesswoman Dorothy Davidson will become the new chairman and CEO of Davidson Technologies, taking over the company founded in 1996 by her late husband, Dr. Julian Davidson. Davidson, a pioneer in space and missile defense, died in January.


Ms. Davidson said the company, which provides engineering and technical services to government agencies and contractors, will now operate as a woman-owned small business. That enables it to compete for contracts set aside for women-owned businesses by the federal government as well as other business.


Ms. Davidson said the company will maintain its core expertise in defense and aerospace technologies, but also expand and diversify. Davidson Technologies employs 230 technical and administrative personnel in Huntsville, Colorado Springs and Washington.



































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Val Walton
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