The City of Dothan, Alabama, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology announced today they have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a public-private partnership to create a new HudsonAlpha Wiregrass. This institute will focus on the key areas of education, agricultural research and economic development.
“Today a new economy rooted in innovation, growth and education takes hold in Dothan and the Wiregrass. We are truly excited about this partnership with HudsonAlpha. They are a major driver of economic, education and research activity in our state and have a proven track record of success,” said Mayor Mark Saliba, City of Dothan. “I am confident, working collaboratively with our community partners, that this initiative will have a long lasting and transformative effect on our area.”
HudsonAlpha President Neil Lamb stated, “Working closely with the City of Dothan, Wiregrass leadership and other regional partners such as the EDPA, HudsonAlpha Wiregrass will serve as a catalyst to spark innovation, enhance STEM education, inspire economic growth and create jobs across the region.”
The HudsonAlpha Wiregrass will focus on three main areas of work: 1) genomics education in Wiregrass schools and general public to include educator professional
learning experiences, student trips, summer programs, workforce certifications and internships in ag-tech; 2) genomics research on Alabama peanuts including collaboration with local farmers, high school agriculture programs, Auburn University and the Wiregrass Research Extension Center to create a new variety of drought and disease resistant peanut; and 3) recruitment of agriculture tech start-up companies, and creation of an eco-system for entrepreneurs and small businesses driving a destination for technology and innovation.
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, has a four-fold mission of conducting genomics-based research to improve human health and well-being; implementing genomic medicine, sparking entrepreneurship and economic development; and providing educational outreach to nurture the next generation of biotech researchers and entrepreneurs, as well as to create a biotech literate public.
Since 2006, HudsonAlpha has generated a $3.2 billion in economic impact for the state of Alabama, created 2,300 jobs and recruited more than 45 biotech companies to their campus in Huntsville.
The HudsonAlpha Wiregrass is planning to begin its work in the area Oct. 1, 2022, with City of Dothan planning to establish an innovation center in Downtown Dothan to house the institute at a later date.
View the presentation here.