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:


Honda opens high-tech engine assembly line in Alabama

on April 17, 2015 

LINCOLN, Alabama -- Honda's Alabama plant today marked the opening of a new engine assembly line that the Japanese automaker calls a breakthrough for its operations in North America.


The $71.4 million highly automated facility will produce V6 engines for the Odyssey minivans, Pilot SUVs and Acura MDX SUVs made at the Talladega County factory.


It replaces and expands two previous assembly lines that were in separate locations within the factory. Combining the two lines in one place will help Honda improve flexibility and efficiency in responding to consumer demand for light trucks.






New industry AGCOR Steel set for grand opening

By Trent Moore
 Apr 19, 2015

After ramping up operations a few months ago, new manufacturer AGCOR Steel is preparing to formally celebrate its grand opening next week.


The company is a metal roofing and steel building component manufacturer located at 152 County Road 1297 in the Vinemont community. AGCOR handles manufacturing, distribution and sales.


Open house is set for 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. The company has invited the Chamber of Commerce, local dignitaries and local contractors to the event. Open house will feature a metal building giveaway, door prizes and lunch provided by Luna's BBQ.




Northrop Grumman strengthens ties with UAH to bolster workforce, STEM education

on April 17, 2015 

Olin B. King Technology Hall at UAH was busy early Friday as leaders with Northrop Grumman and the university announced an expansion of their existing partnership in Huntsville.


Mark Thornton, program director for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Program at Northrop Grumman, joined UAH President Robert Altenkirch to celebrate the launch of a relationship to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, research opportunities and workforce recruitment in the Rocket City.


Thornton, whose company is anxious to grow its employee base with young talent, said the collaboration will "bring a lot of students that come out of UAH into our company."






Airbus Defense and Space taps Mobile facility on 10th anniversary as 'worldwide support center' for C212 aircraft series

on April 17, 2015

Airbus Defense and Space announced Friday it has selected Mobile-based Airbus DS Military Aircraft Inc. as its new worldwide support center for the C212 aircraft series.


"The goal is to grow in the U.S., and Mobile is a success story," Mike Cosentino, president of Airbus Defense and Space Inc. told a crowd of about 100 gathered at the Mobile facility Friday to celebrate the company's 10th anniversary in the Port City.


"This celebration is an opportunity to thank our Mobile workforce for a decade of excellence and to showcase our new support services that will improve our overall operations in Mobile," said Juan Uriarte, head of Airbus DS Military Aircraft Inc. "With the establishment here of the new C212 Aircraft Series Worldwide Support Center, we have centralized more resources into this location to provide faster service for our customers."








Soluble Therapeutics receives $150K NIH grant to extend tech capabilities
Alan Alexander Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
April 17, 2015

Birmingham-based biotech company Soluble Therapeutics was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham for further research on its flagship technology.


The grant will help extend the use ofSoluble's HSC technology, which is used for protein formulation, to an important class of protein drug targets called integral membrane proteins, or IMPs.


IMPs could play a role in providing unmet medical needs for a variety of diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Soluble's HSC technology will help stabilize IMPs so that more research can be conducted, and UAB's Center for Structural Biology will be providing chemistry support.



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