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Alabama Innovation Corporation promotes research, technology grants for small businesses

The Alabama Innovation Corporation board of directors met last week at Auburn University to hold discussions with stakeholders regarding initiatives the corporation is partaking in to drive growth in the state’s innovation economy.

The meeting took place at the New Venture Accelerator on the university’s campus, which board members toured following the meeting to gain insight from entrepreneurs.

Among the items discussed were the board’s ongoing search efforts for the corporation’s first executive director, as well as strategies to leverage Alabama’s outdoor recreation assets.

Additionally, the corporation board highlighted efforts surrounding the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, which aims to grow Alabama’s economy by stimulating research and commercialization.

There are two phases of the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants for which Alabama-based recipients are eligible to apply for up to $250,000 in supplemental funding.

Phase I recipients are eligible to apply for 50% of their award up to $100,000. Phase II recipients are eligible to apply for 50% of their award up to $250,000.

The corporation noted that entrepreneurs who received the grant awards would cede no shares or ownership stake in their companies.

The application for the first round of funding opened on July 1. Applicants are encouraged to apply by 5:00 p.m. on August 1, 2022. Award notifications for the first round of funding begin on August 22. The Alabama Innovation Corporation grant application portal can be found here.

Under the leadership of state finance director Bill Poole and Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper), who serve respectively as chair and vice chair of the board, the Alabama Innovation Corporation is seeking to foster an investment-friendly environment for tech and research startups.

Dr. Michael Chambers, a corporation board member who serves as the University of South Alabama associate vice president of research, told Yellowhammer News that the entity hoped to “have a very robust response to the program.”

In partnership with state government leadership, the corporation board has successfully implemented the grant program, which will place Alabama on track with other states in championing growth within the field of innovation.

“The board is very thankful to the leadership and vision of state finance director and chairman Bill Poole, and vice chairman of the corporation board Senator Greg Reed,” expressed Chambers.

The next meeting of the Alabama Innovation Corporation board of directors will take place on Thursday, August 18 in Mobile.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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