The city of Dothan and HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, in a public-private partnership, are creating the new HudsonAlpha Wiregrass, an institute focused on education, agricultural research and economic development.
“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 Mark Saliba, mayor 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 Wiregrass will focus on three main areas of work:
- Genomics education in Wiregrass schools and the general public to include educator professional learning experiences, student trips, summer programs, workforce certifications and internships in ag-tech;
- Genomics research on Alabama peanuts, including collaboration with local farmers, school agriculture programs, Auburn University and the Wiregrass Research Extension Center to create a new variety of drought- and disease-resistant peanut;
- Recruitment of agriculture tech startups and developing support for entrepreneurs and small businesses in technology and innovation.
“Working closely with the city of Dothan, Wiregrass leadership and other regional partners such as the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, HudsonAlpha Wiregrass will serve as a catalyst to spark innovation, enhance STEM education, inspire economic growth and create jobs across the region,” said Neil Lamb, president of HudsonAlpha.
Based in Huntsville, HudsonAlpha conducts genomics-based research to improve human health; implements genomic medicine; sparks entrepreneurship and economic development and provides educational outreach to biotech researchers and entrepreneurs. Since 2006, it has generated a $3.2 billion economic impact, created 2,300 jobs and recruited 45 biotech companies to its campus in Huntsville.