Governor Riley Urges Completion of Science and Technology Roadmap for Alabama in the US

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - 17:20 GMT Jump to Comments

Earlier this month Governor Bob Riley urged academic, business and economic development experts to continue their collaboration to help Alabama reach its potential as a global leader in science and technology.

Speaking at the Alabama Science and Technology Leadership Summit in Birmingham, Governor Riley thanked the group for their hard work and said that the gathering reflected an unprecedented level of cooperation.

The summit, held at the headquarters of SurModics Pharmaceuticals, marked the halfway point in an effort to create the Alabama Science and Technology Roadmap, a plan to attract and grow science and technology jobs for Alabamians.

“Alabama has many world-class science and technology assets that we want to nurture and grow,” Governor Riley said. “Working together, we can capitalize on these assets to create and retain the high-skilled jobs that are vital to Alabama’s economic future.”

The project’s first phase gathered input from more than 100 leaders across the state to assess science, technology and innovation in Alabama. The assessment indentified six areas of opportunity: health care, energy, aerospace and defense, modeling and simulation applied to the automobile industry, information technology and nanotechnology.

“Our state is in a great position to take advantage of emerging opportunities in these fields,” Governor Riley said, noting Alabama has a strong presence in many of these areas. The Governor also told those gathered at the summit that the state will “continue to be an active partner in these collaborations that foster an environment of progress, competitiveness and innovation. In the innovation economy, we can’t remain fragmented and expect Alabama to compete and win.”

The 160 leaders attending the summit, including university presidents, deans of business schools, CEOs of technology companies and state government representatives, were asked to help with the next phase of the project which will identify specific steps to grow industries in the six areas of opportunity in the state.

The initiative is funded through a combination of grants and awards administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Energy Division.

ADECA Director Doni Ingram said that a science and technology plan will help the state use its resources wisely and compete more effectively for stimulus and other federal funding.

“A strategic plan built on cooperation and partnership will allow ADECA and the Alabama Research Alliance to get the maximum benefit from the available science and technology funds,” Ingram said.

Collaborative Economics, a California-based firm that has helped 35 states and 10 countries develop similar plans, is assisting Alabama to complete the roadmap, which is scheduled for release in January.

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