Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey hosted a July 29 commemorative ceremony for the signing of House Bill 540 and House Bill 609, two key innovation laws passed during the State Legislature of 2021. These bills, recommended by the Alabama Innovation Commission, will spur inclusive innovation and shape the future of entrepreneurship in the state.
“Innovation is a key part of Alabama’s past, present and future,” said Ivey. “I am delighted to celebrate the passage of forward-thinking legislation that will enable continued growth for Alabama businesses. I applaud the work of the commission and its leadership, which will continue to advance the state and foster a diverse and resilient economy.
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Commissioners, entrepreneurs and lawmakers gathered in the Alabama State Capitol to commemorate the enactment of Alabama’s Innovation Policies.
House Bill 540, sponsored by Representative Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa, created the Alabama Innovation Corporation, a public-private partnership tasked with growing the state’s technology and innovation ecosystem. House Bill 609, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Gray of Opelika and Senator Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham, created the Innovate Alabama twinning program which the Innovation Corporation will oversee. The program will match federal awards to Alabama-based Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grantees.
“These innovative and smart policies will shape Alabama’s future and exponentially increase Alabama’s competitiveness in a global economy,” said Representative Poole, chairman of the committee. “Through Governor Ivey’s leadership, the Alabama Innovation Commission continues to collaborate and develop groundbreaking opportunities that will put Alabama on the map as a leader in innovation.”
The commission has celebrated a number of milestones since its inception in July 2020, including:
- The publication of an interim report in January, which made it possible to pass these two bills.
- A partnership with the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank affiliated with Stanford University. This partnership will enable leading experts and academics to examine and offer recommendations on the themes of technological innovation, education and economic development in Alabama.
- The creation of the Alabama Innovation Corporation and the SBIR / STTR matching grant program.
“The commission is made up of some of the most talented innovators, private sector experts and decision makers from across the state, and our work will help develop technology accelerators and start-ups, creating a workforce 21st century ready for the next generation of Alabama. jobs, ”said Senator Greg Reed, vice chairman of the Alabama Innovation Commission. “We have had success over the past year and our work has only just begun.
Next steps for the commission include delivering a report with key findings on how to continue to grow Alabama’s innovation economy and tech-related industries. The report, due to be delivered to Ivey by Oct. 31, will highlight policy recommendations to support and grow the innovation economy in Alabama. The findings of the Hoover Institution will be included.
The Alabama Innovation Commission and its subcommittees also met on July 29 to discuss finalizing the report’s recommendations. The next committee meeting is Thursday 23 September. Commission meetings are open to the public for virtual attendance.