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Alabama Innovation Commission partnering with Condoleezza-led Hoover Institution

The Alabama Innovation Commission on Wednesday announced a new partnership with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University to further advance innovation and economic growth in the Yellowhammer State.

The commission, which was created by Governor Kay Ivey in July, will collaborate with the Hoover Institution to deploy unique, world-class intellectual resources towards recommending practical and timely applications beneficial to Alabama.

The Hoover Institution is led by Birmingham native and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who also serves as an advisory council member for the Alabama Innovation Commission.

“The Hoover Institution is proud to partner with the Alabama Innovation Commission to help develop strategies that will create more economic opportunities for the state,” stated Rice. “Through this partnership we will be able to bring our research and expertise to identify strategies that maximize the state’s strengths and assets.”

Per a release, the commission’s strategic collaboration with the Hoover Institution will address the starting, recruitment and retention of companies and jobs; the development of innovation hubs; and the commercialization of startups. Within these core focus areas, ways will be identified to improve education and skills-based learning and leverage the state’s successes in a way that creates prosperity for all Alabamians.

Founded in 1919, the Hoover Institution is a public policy research center promoting the principles of individual, economic and political freedom. The institution’s fellows, staff and experts will serve as a resource in helping develop policy recommendations by sharing insights on specific economic topics and policies related to the commission’s goals.

There are five Alabama Innovation Commission advisory council members in addition to Rice; Zeke Smith, Alabama Power Company’s executive vice president of external affairs, serves as president of the advisory council.

“This partnership with the Hoover Institution will help accelerate our state’s focus on entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Smith in a statement. “Developing strategic partnerships and leveraging outside investments has proven to be a successful approach in building a policy portfolio and determining best practices. We look forward to working with the Hoover Institution to identify ways we can foster growth and strengthen our state.”

The commission is comprised of 15 members and chaired by State Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa), who has been a leader in the State House on fostering innovation, economic prosperity and entrepreneurship.

“I am confident that the work that the Alabama Innovation Commission and the Hoover Institution will produce through this partnership will have a profound impact on the future economic trajectory of our state,” commented Poole.

“Starting with the leadership of Governor Kay Ivey and the Commission’s efforts, we must all work together on initiatives like this to create smart solutions that will continue to make Alabama an attractive state for business investment and job creation. Further, it is essential to our economic future that our students and citizens have career pathways right here in Alabama to the jobs of the future. In my opinion the work of this Commission, in collaboration with the Hoover Institution, presents an important and critical opportunity to enhance our state’s competitive position in terms of these economic sectors,” he continued.

Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) is the vice chair of the commission and has also been a champion of building a more robust 21st-century economy for all Alabamians.

Reed advised, “The continued momentum resulting from the Hoover Institution partnership is a prime example of the creative ideas and initiatives already generated by the Commission.”

“While Alabama has a strong foundation of existing industries, innovation extends to all sectors of the economy where Alabama has traditionally been a leader including advanced manufacturing,” he added. “These intentional collaboration efforts will further elevate our state as a driving force of innovation.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn