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:

Game-changing Alabama projects claim investment awards

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - A national trade publication selected three 2015 Alabama economic development projects, valued at a combined $2 billion, for its elite investment awards, reflecting the powerful impact of these collaborative recruitment efforts.

Editors at Trade & Industry Development magazine evaluated hundreds of projects from across the U.S. before selecting the 30 winners of its 2016 Corporate Investment & Community Impact Awards. It's the 11th year the publication has handed out its CiCi awards.

"These honors underscore the teamwork that exemplifies the Alabama economic development team and demonstrate how cooperation benefits communities across the state," said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "These projects lay a solid foundation for growth in key sectors and will create high-paying jobs with staying power."


'Innovation District' in Birmingham best reflects downtown section's future, officials believe
By Michael Tomberlin

When the Birmingham City Council voted last month to change the name of the city's "Entrepreneurial District" to the "Innovation District," some influential leaders applauded the move not just for branding reasons, but for the realization of what the Magic City has become and can become.

Since that decision, leaders from the University of Alabama at BirminghamREV BirminghamInnovation Depot, the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama have met with Birmingham Mayor William Bell to ensure the Innovation District will emerge in reality and not just in the changing of the signs that mark the district.

"The City Council's action to change the formal name of the 'Entrepreneurial District' to the 'Innovation District' is a declaration of the intent of the City of Birmingham, UAB, Innovation Depot, BBA and other partners to put Birmingham's City Center on the global map as a hotbed of innovation," David Fleming, president of REV Birmingham, said. "It is a response to recognition by stakeholders that the goal of this area is to be a place in our city that fosters new methods, ideas and products. This area can be defined by the connection, culture and collaboration that results in an innovation economy in our city. This is critical for the growth of the Birmingham region and our competiveness in the modern economy."


Huntsville high-tech startup RadioBro opens Germany office
March 10, 2016

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - RadioBro Corp., a start-up firm that makes miniature electronics systems for airplanes and spacecraft, has opened an office in Bremen, Germany, as it targets connections in the European aerospace industry.

Brothers Mark, Eric and Daniel Becnel founded RadioBro in Huntsville in March 2014. The firm's products include MiniSatCom, a lightweight spacecraft radio, and Cyclone, an instrumentation system that records data from flight tests.

Made In Alabama profiled RadioBro last year as Mark and Eric Becnel, twins who received master's degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, traveled to the Paris Air Show for a test of the Cyclone system.


Farm to plate: Alabama agriculture industry looks to grow
Author Dawn Kent Azok
March 15, 2016

Alabama's agriculture industry leaders are exploring new methods and markets to extend the reach of the state's farmers.

Agriculture, forestry and related industries have a $70.4 billion economic impact in Alabama and are responsible for more than 580,000 jobs. Products from farms and forests represent key categories in Accelerate Alabama, the state's strategic development growth plan.

Representatives of the Alabama Farmers Federation, who are looking to build on that substantial economic impact, recently returned from a conference in California with promising leads for fruit and vegetable growers, said Brian Hardin, director of governmental and agricultural programs for Alfa.


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