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:



Oxford Pharmaceuticals closes on $1.4 million JeffMet land purchase
Bryan Davis Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
Apr 7, 2015

Oxford, England-based Oxford Pharmaceuticals has completed the purchase of land at the Jefferson Metropolitan Lakeshore Industrial Park, which will be the site of a $29 million facility.


The company, which will manufacture generic drugs, paid $1.4 million for the 23.4-acre site at 301 Leaf Lake Dr., according to Jefferson County public records. This will be the site of Oxford's U.S. headquarters.


Oxford Pharmaceuticals announced in November it would build the facility at JeffMet, which will bring 200 jobs over the next decade.




[Birmingham Business Journal]



Alabama Launchpad accepting applications from innovative startups for its next startup competition round; Up to $250,000 available to help take new companies to the next level in job creation


Birmingham, Ala., April 8, -- Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, is accepting applications now through May 11 for the next round of its startup competition, which invests in the development of early-stage Alabama startups and shines a light on new and innovative new companies.


Interested startups can apply here before 9 a.m. May 11.  A five-judge panel will select the teams to compete. Those selected will be announced May 29.


While the startups will compete for a share of up to $250,000, Greg Sheek, Alabama Launchpad programs director, said the competition also serves as a filter for startup ventures in the state. 

Sheek said the judges, who are entrepreneurs and top business executives from across Alabama, look at both the market potential behind the products or services the startups are developing, as well as the strength of the startup teams.


"We recognize the critical role of startup companies in innovation and bringing forth new technologies to foster job creation in Alabama," Sheek said. "We are excited to offer these aspiring entrepreneurs critical funding, sound business advice and the opportunity to take their companies to the next level."


In the last round of competition, which ended March 20, all five finalists received a share of funding, totaling $214,300.

The Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition, started as a pilot project in 2006, is financed by business, the state of Alabama and seven universities.  Since its inception, Alabama Launchpad has led to the creation of 305 knowledge-based jobs and $20.4 million in follow-on funding.


To see a gallery of success stories, click here.

In the last round of competition, which ended March 20, all five finalists received a share of funding, totaling $214,300.







New name, new face for vehicle that launched Alabama's auto industry

on April 07, 2015 

The Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the luxury SUV that birthed Alabama's auto industry, has gotten a makeover.


The vehicle, which is assembled at the German automaker's Tuscaloosa County factory, has been updated for the 2016 model year. Changes include newly-designed front and tail ends, as well as a plug-in hybrid version that's new to the lineup.


And, along with its new look,the M-Class has a new name. It will be known as the GLE-Class when the updated vehicles arrive in showrooms this summer.









Innovation Depot's annual report details strong growth during 2014
Alan Alexander Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
Apr 8, 2015

An annual report recently released by Innovation Depot shows that the Southeast's largest business incubator experienced significant growth in 2014.


Last year, Innovation Depot added nine companies and grew the number of employees by 154. That increase in workforce helped the companies at Innovation Depot report $137 million in sales, which is up 11 percent from the $123 million in collective sales in 2013.


Additionally, Innovation Depot doubled the amount of private funding from $10 million in 2013 to $20 million last year.




[Birmingham Business Journal]





HudsonAlpha brings national DNA expert to its Alabama center

By Lee Roop | 

on April 07, 2015 


Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology today said it has hired one of America's top clinical genomics experts to start a program to advance the use of DNA research in patient care.


Dr. Howard Jacob will move his team to HudsonAlpha from his current position as director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Jacob will become the institute's chief medical genomics officer.


Jacob's arrival, which is expected to lead to 200 new jobs at the institute over the next five years, was being compared in Huntsville Tuesday to the institute's recruiting of Dr. Richard Myers from the Stanford Human Genome Center in 2008. Myers gave the institute an instant global reputation and has led its growth into a major center of biotechnology research, education and economic development.










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