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:



Making the list: Business magazine ranks Birmingham among 'American cities of the future'

on April 24, 2015 
fDi Magazine has ranked Birmingham among the 'American Cities of the Future,' in its latest edition. 

Analysts in a recent publication cite Birmingham as a place to watch, listing it among 'American cities of the future.'


fDi Magazine, from the Financial Times, listed Birmingham among the top 10 mid-sized American cities in its overall and economic potential categories.


The rankings appear in the latest edition of the publication.







Startup company invests $1M for solar power project in Blount County
Alan Alexander  Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
April 23, 2015

A solar-powered charging station has launched in Palisades Park in Blount County as part of a $1 million investment from a startup that has been created out of Hornsby Steel.

Located in Cleveland, Ala., Sun Charge Systems will create 15 jobs over several years as part of the project, which will convert solar energy to electricity so that USB chargers or 12-volt car chargers can be used to power devices like cell phones and tablets in areas where conventional electrical outlets are unavailable.


David Hornsby, founder of Sun Charge Systems and president of Hornsby Steel, started Sun Charge Systems as a way to keep his employees at Hornsby Steel busy during down times.




[Birmingham Business Journal]




 April 23, 2015

For nine years, Alabama Launchpad has worked diligently to support innovative entrepreneurs and to help Alabama companies with the potential for high growth to start, stay and grow in the state.


While known for providing startup capital in its Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition, the non-profit organization added another program, the Alabama SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer) Assistance Program in 2014. That program's goal is to assist Alabama small businesses statewide receive a share of $2 billion in grant funding awarded annually by federal agencies to transform high-technology ideas into commercial products and ultimately create jobs.


"We are excited to report an important milestone in our Phase 0 program, which assists SBIR applicants to strengthen their proposals," said Greg Sheek, Alabama Launchpad programs director.


Alabama Launchpad awarded $5,000 for accounting compliance purposes to Archangel Systems Inc., a woman-owned, small business in Auburn started in 1992 that specializes in the development and sale of inertial systems for the military and aerospace industry.




[Alabama Launchpad]





Alabama legislature recognizes HudsonAlpha for groundbreaking research
By Christyn Owens
Apr 23, 2015
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - HudsonAlpha was recognized as a key asset for the state of Alabama on Thursday by the Alabama House of Representatives. They also welcomed the first scientist in the world to use genomic sequencing to save a patient's life. 

Clinical genomics expert, Howard Jacob, Ph.D., announced last month that he and multiple research teams from the Medical College of Wisconsin will be relocating to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville this Summer. Jacob's was welcomed to the floor by the Alabama House during Thursday's session. 


"One of my goals at HudsonAlpha," said Jacob, "will be to enable millions of patients and their doctors to use the knowledge from the patient's DNA to improve healthcare."







Barber Motorsports Park readies to welcome thousands for Indy race weekend

on April 24, 2015 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Barber Motorsports Park is preparing to welcome thousands of race fans this weekend for the annual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.


Attendance for three-day event is expected to be in line with numbers from previous years, which ranged from about 80,000 to 85,000 since 2010, according to park officials.


Last year's crowd total dropped to just under 75,000, but there was a major storm on Sunday. 









Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Pledges $1.2 Million to the SAE Foundation to Support STEM Education
Apr 23, 2015 


WARRENDALE, Pa. (PRWEB) April 23, 2015 Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) has awarded $1.2 Million to the SAE Foundation in support of its efforts to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through SAE Internationals award-winning A World In Motion® (AWIM) program and ensure the technical competency of the future talent pool. The SAE Foundations relentless pursuit of innovative, effective STEM education is made possible by corporations like Kia Motors innovation and continuous improvement are key components of the Kia brands core values and A World In Motion exemplifies this in its curriculum design and delivery, as well as, its ability to create the next generation of innovators.


On behalf of all KMMG team members, we are excited to continue our partnership with SAE and for even more local students in Harris and Chambers Counties to join students in Troup County who have been benefitting from this fantastic program, said Randy Jackson, KMMGs senior vice president of human resources and administration. This curriculum is making a big impact, and as a learning organization, Kia understands that the students of today will be our workforce of tomorrow.


By investing in SAEs AWIM program over the next three years, Kia is ensuring that students in both Georgia and Alabama are not only prepared to be potential employees, but that they will also enrich their communities by being excellent problem solvers and analytical thinkers: innovators who provide practical solutions to everyday problems.





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