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Alabama Creates Research Alliance to Spur Economic Development

The alliance involves the state's research universities, the business community and state government.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Gov. Don Siegelman announced the establishment of the Alabama Research Alliance, a partnership between among Alabama's research universities, the business community and state government.

The mission of the research alliance is to foster economic development in Alabama by investing in existing and new research initiatives at Alabama's research universities.

Officials said the research alliance will focus on investing in and promoting research in a number of areas, including space, science, technology and defense, automotive manufacturing and production design, agriculture, biomedicine and cancer research and aviation computer electronics.

The Alabama Research Alliance replaces the Alabama Research Institute, and the alliance will operate under an expanded board of directors.

The board will consist of thirteen members, including the governor, who will serve as chairman, the chancellor of the University of Alabama System, the presidents of Auburn University, the University of South Alabama, Alabama A&M and Tuskegee University, and seven business leaders, who soon will be appointed by the governor to serve six-year staggered terms.

"I plan to appoint to the board business leaders who understand that research investment is a critical component for Alabama's continued success as our state moves further into the new economy," Siegelman said in a statement.

An endowment for the Alabama Research Institute will become the research alliance endowment, effective Oct. 1, 2002. Officials said the interest income from the endowment will be used to support research and development activities of the research alliance, including the funding of research grants to the participating universities.

In addition, the research alliance will be designated as a state agency to accept federal funds appropriated or allocated by Congress to the state for scientific research and development.

Office of Gov. Don Siegelman