This week, Southern Research broke ground in Birmingham on a new biotech lab.
Per construction plans, the facility will anchor the development of 200,000 square feet of new or renovated wet lab space for life sciences. The space doubles the organization’s lab space for researching infectious diseases and expands its work to develop new treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses.
The new facility is projected to create 150 new jobs at Southern Research, which has an estimated annual economic impact on the city and state of $300 million.
Josh Carpenter, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research, stated, “This project represents a major investment in the city of Birmingham and in the great work being done by our Southern Research team, it builds on our strengths and puts us in a position for dynamic growth in the future.”
The Alabama Legislature made its first-ever investment in the campus with $45 million in the 2023 state budget.
The expected investment for the new facility is that construction of the facility would create 1,100 project-related jobs and be just shy of $200 million in economic activity.
Kay Ivey supported this investment, saying, “This represented an opportunity to create high-paying jobs in Birmingham and to support one of the state’s most important industries.”
“Scientific and technical innovation is a major driver of Alabama’s economic growth and Southern Research has long been a key player in making it happen,” she added.
The project was also supported by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Economic Development Committee chair of the Jefferson County Commission Steve Ammons, UAB President Ray Watts, who also serves as chair of the Southern Research board of directors, and numerous local leaders from both parties.
In addition to the new construction, Southern Research has contracted Brasfield & Gorrie to help renovate over 40,000 square feet of its existing campus in Birmingham. Renovations include building out more vivarium space and launching a new clinical diagnostics lab.