Birmingham-area economic developers plan to boost the bioscience sector with $450,000 in support from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
Funds will be used to study the market, develop a strategy and implementation plan to help boost job growth in the sector. Goals are to:
- Identify existing assets and their opportunities for growth.
- Identify ways for existing bioscience businesses to grow to potential.
- Help economic developers attract new bioscience businesses.
Efforts to win the grant were led by the Birmingham Business Alliance, Jefferson and Shelby counties, and Shelby’s 58 Inc. economic development organization.
“We are seizing a perfect opportunity to build on the national attention Birmingham received during the pandemic,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO of the BBA. “Based on the role the University of Alabama at Birmingham played in building a COVID-19 treatment and on the work of local companies like BioGX around testing, we will create a comprehensive plan for our region to work with bioscience companies to address the immediate needs of a post-pandemic world and grow jobs as a result.”
Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons added, “The Birmingham region of Jefferson County is fortunate to call many quality health care systems home. These systems have drawn, and continue to draw, assets to our region. This grant will help us map out those assets and tailor our recruiting efforts by identifying companies that would be an agreeable addition to our ecosystem.”
Next goal is the process of selecting a consultant to begin the work.