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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:
Bayer CropScience touts $500 million Mobile investment as key to meeting global herbicide demand
Decatur students laud partnership
Mobile Airport Authority taps project management veteran to steer capital improvements
Tech Hotspot Alert: Alabama?
ASU research program gets $1.54M grant
Advanced Training for Today's Auto and Aerospace Workers
News Release -- Algix to host Grand Opening on September 13
Registration underway for Alabama's only Innovation Conference



Bayer CropScience touts $500 million Mobile investment as key to meeting global herbicide demand
on September 09, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - Aglobal herbicide production facility in Mobile will be the largest construction project in Bayer CropScience's history and will spearhead efforts to boost supply chain capacity as industry demand explodes.


"About 900 million people remain hungry today, and the world population is growing strongly. We need to raise agricultural productivity and at the same time advance sustainability in farming and ensure protection of the environment. We aim to achieve this by developing innovative solutions and services that can help agriculture to contribute to the healthy development of society," Liam Condon, chief executive officer of the Monheim, Germany-based Bayer, said during the company's recent annual meeting.


"With about ($500) million earmarked for this new facility, this is the biggest single construction project in the history of Bayer CropScience," Condon said.








Decatur students laud partnership

By Deangelo McDaniel 

Staff Writer 

September 10, 2013 


Austin High School senior Christina Davis can't explain her lifelong interest in aerospace.


But like the six other Decatur City Schools students in the aircraft maintenance class at Calhoun Community College, she has a plan.


"Right now, I want to join the Navy when I graduate. And I know what I am learning in here will help me," she said.


Davis is one of 114 students getting hands-on experience because of a partnership between Calhoun and the school system to expand career technical opportunities for students.


A lot of the dual-enrolled students said the arrangement has allowed them to forgo electives they didn't want to take in exchange for classes they will use after high school.




[Decatur Daily]



Mobile Airport Authority taps project management veteran to steer capital improvements

on September 09, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - Russell L. Stallings has joined theMobile Airport Authority as director of capital projects and improvements.


Stallings, who brings three decades of construction industry experience to the new position, will coordinate the $600 million Airbus construction project and oversee other construction and renovation projects at theBrookley Aeroplex, in addition to planning future projects.


Airbus broke ground April 8 on a final assembly line at the aeroplex dedicated solely to production of A320 family aircraft. The facility, slated to come online in 2015 and deliver its first Mobile-assembled planes the following year, will employ 1,000 when it reaches full annual production of 40 to 50 aircraft by 2018.






Tech Hotspot Alert: Alabama?

By Karsten Strauss, Forbes Staff



Incubation programs have proved a valuable tool to strengthen local economies and cultivate new companies and that reality hasn't been lost on Birmingham, Alabama.


True, Birmingham may never be mentioned in the same breath as California's Silicon Valley or New York's Silicon Alley - not to mention Austin, Los Angeles, London, Tel-Aviv and others - but stars are aligning to beef up that city and state's tech credibility.


 Innovation Depot, an incubator and economic development program, has been working to support early stage technology companies and has seen those it's taken under its wing stay local.













ASU research program gets $1.54M grant

By Brad Harper

Sep. 9, 2013


A new grant will pour $1.54 million into Alabama State University's biomedical research program to help the school increase the number of Ph.Ds in the field.


The grant, from the National Institutes of Health, is to support the research of graduate students working under the supervision of biomedical researchers at ASU. It also will allow students to work at a collaborator's research site during the summer.


Dr. Shree Singh, the director for the Center for NanoBiotechnology Research, said the grant will allow students and scientists at the school to expand their capabilities.









Advanced Training for Today's Auto and Aerospace Workers 

Area Development Online Research Desk (2013 Auto/Aero Site Guide)


Collectively, auto manufacturing and aerospace companies in Alabama employ more than 120,000 people. The list of companies includes major aerospace and automotive industry players such as Airbus, Boeing, GE Aviation, Lockheed- Martin, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Honda. 

What makes these companies choose Alabama? According to Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor, it was the work force: "(Airbus) was encouraged by the auto industry's success in Alabama because its manufacturing aspect is a trained skill similar to that of aircraft assembly." 

When it comes to training workers, the state relies upon AIDT, Alabama's work force development agency. While AIDT is responsible for work force training for new and expanding companies, it also runs several industry-specific training facilities. One of the more unique facilities is the Alabama Robotic Technology Park (RTP), which focuses on robotics and automation technologies that are essential to the auto and aerospace industries. Classes at the RTP are offered at no cost to Alabama companies; firms outside the state can utilize the RTP for a fee. 






News Release -- Algix to host Grand Opening on September 13

Algix, LLC will host a Grand Opening and Summer of Algae Event on Friday, September 13, 2013 at its location on U.S. Highway 80 West near Marion Junction, Alabama. The event begins at 9:00 a.m., and Algix will provide lunch for everyone attending.

The program of events includes a presentation of the current state of the overall algae industry, and the exciting role Algix, LLC plays in this rapidly expanding business. A tour of the Algix facility as well as a demonstration of the algae harvesting taking place at local catfish ponds will be offered.

If you plan to attend, please contact Office Manager Katie Van Drunen at

 katie.vandrunen@algixllc.com or you may call her at 877-972-5449 ext. 503. 


Athens, GA based Algix, LLC announced its decision to locate in Dallas County at the former Gold Kist site on U.S. Highway 80 West of Selma in February of this year with the expectation of hiring 40 people at full operation. The Company recently announced an expansion with an additional capital investment of approximately $2.5 million and 46 additional jobs within three years.

Algix operates a bio-resin production facility for aquatic biomass processing and compounding. The company converts algae into bioplastic resin for packaging, agricultural, horticultural, and industrial applications.

This is a new technology developed in collaboration with Kimberly-Clark and the University of Georgia to dry algae for conversion to plastic. Algix bio-resins have applications in packaging, agricultural products, carpet / flooring, personal-care products, consumer electronics, construction, and automotive applications.

The company has a world-wide exclusive license from Kimberly-Clark for algae-blended thermoplastics for use in extrusion, compounding, injection molding, film casting, thermoforming and other thermoplastic conversion techniques.

The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), which is the trade association for the algae industry, announced the kick off of its second annual "Summer of Algae." This is a

national campaign sponsored by ABO and implemented by member companies to raise awareness about the promise of commercial algae production to create jobs, domestic fuels, feed and food products, as well as plastics and biochemicals.

A series of open-house style events and news announcements will give local and national officials, as well as the media, an opportunity to experience the research, products, and jobs being created by leading algae companies like Algix LLC, which is a proud member of the ABO.



John Dekker
(706) 410-5082






             Registration underway for Alabama's only Innovation Conference


Join the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama on Sept. 26-27 for the third annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference that strives to celebrate the entrepreneurs and job creators who launch startups that help drive economic growth in the Alabama. We have a great lineup of speakers, including Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama native Ted Alling, one of the South's leading entrepreneurs and managing partner of the Lamp Post Group, where he actively recruits and mentors other entrepreneurs. 




For conference agenda and more details visit the main conference website:




Registration pageRegister Now




Samford University grad Ted Alling, CEO Access America Transport


Brad Feld, TechStars co-founder.

William C. Taylor, Editor Fast Company


Andrew Chang, UPS Marketing Director








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