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Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Assistance to Coal Communities 1 $397,665
Disaster Relief 1 $2,364,930
Public Works 1 $1,215,000
Regional Innovation Program 4 $1,469,136
Technical Assistance 1 $118,000
Planning 11 $1,295,000
Grand Total 19 $6,859,731

Birmingham, Alabama - The State of Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham has long been a center for steel and iron manufacturing and the coal industry, but over the past several decades, these industries have contracted resulting in substantial job loss. According to industry estimates over 4,500 coal-related jobs were lost in the Birmingham region since 2012 alone. Despite these substantial, industry-specific job losses, many new jobs were added to the regional economy in the rapidly growing biomedical cluster. In fact, since 2010, over 3,000 new jobs have been added. One of the leading biomedical firms in Birmingham is the Southern Research Institute (SRI). Since 1941, SRI has conducted research and development in many areas including: drug discovery/development, engineering, energy and environmental services.

In September 2017, EDA invested $397,665 in Economic Adjustment Assistance through Assistance to Coal Communities funds to SRI to fund the renovation of the Institute’s Cancer Cause and Prevention Facility in Jefferson County, Alabama and to help aid in the advancement of SRI’s mission. The grant was used to modernize 34,000 square feet of the facility, which will allow them to conduct more extensive medical research and expand their capabilities.

These improvements will help expand SRI’s drug development unit allowing them to test medicines designed to combat various forms of cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson’s and tuberculosis. Today, SRI employs over 500 scientists and is an industry leader in the commercialization of new and improved products. As a direct result of the expansion, SRI is expected to add 17 staff members at the new facility.

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