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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests Nearly $3 Million to Support Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Alabama

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a nearly $3 million grant to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to build the Invention to Innovation Center (I2C). According to the grantee, the project will support the region’s growing automotive cluster and facilitate the expansion of emerging clusters, ultimately creating jobs and private investment for the area.

“As America’s Innovation Agency, the Commerce Department works to create the conditions for our entrepreneurs, companies, and communities to thrive,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will cultivate innovation in Alabama, helping to make the region more globally competitive.”

“The grant award announced today is a significant step towards turning the University of Alabama Huntsville’s vision to establish an innovative and job-creating business incubator into reality,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby. “This public-private partnership will leverage the University’s research expertise to spur job creation, attract further business investment, and produce more local jobs. I am proud to have worked with the University to help secure this competitive funding and will continue working to secure full federal support for this important economic venture.”

EDA’s investment will help construct the building for I2C, an incubator and accelerator serving a 15-county region in north Alabama and southeast Tennessee. This project will provide a platform for new and existing high-tech businesses to engage in entrepreneurship and commercialization of new technologies and innovations. According to the grantee, the I2C will also leverage university assets to reach into distressed communities providing education, training, and new business start-up support to develop an economically competitive ecosystem.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.