As we watch 2017 give way to 2018, it’s a good time to look back on some of the great things that happened in Alabama this year. Alabama NewsCenter has tallied the results in each grouping of stories to see which ones you responded to the most, and we’re sharing your five favorites along with a story (or stories) we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss.
If 2017 had a signature buzz word or phrase, it may well have been the “innovation economy.” Alabama cities were certainly touting their own place within the innovation economy, and the evidence was in the actual innovation taking place in the state.
Here are the Top 5 Alabama NewsCenter innovation stories for 2017:
Researchers believe immunotherapy could be the best way to fight many forms of cancer in the future, but not all patients’ bodies respond to immunotherapy with prolonged, promising results. UAB is spearheading research to better prime the body for immunotherapy so it can achieve better results.
For the first time ever, Birmingham hosted Venture for America in its apprenticeship matching event. More than 40 companies interviewed 200 of the best and brightest VBA fellows to find them internships with innovative companies in Birmingham, San Antonio, Nashville and New Orleans.
Another major innovation feather in Birmingham’s cap this year was playing host to the national e.Builders Forum. The International Business Innovation Association held the two-day event at Birmingham’s Innovation Depot in September.
Innovate Birmingham has been a priority for the Birmingham Business Alliance and its partners for the past few years, but the program took a major step forward with the hiring of Bob Crutchfield as its executive director and an official roll-out during Birmingham Innovation Week.
Although it didn’t make the final cut, Birmingham was one of 10 cities on the semifinalist list in the Smart Cities Challenge from the Smart Cities Council. Winners of the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge Grants were Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia, but by being in the running, Birmingham signaled its growing presence in the national and global innovation economy.
While we like to acknowledge big-picture innovation and the state’s place in the innovation economy, the best innovation is in those gee-whiz ideas from the innovators themselves. This year was the inaugural class of Birmingham’s Velocity Accelerator program that helped nurture new ideas from innovative entrepreneurs. Some were from Birmingham or other parts of Alabama, while many were not. We brought you each of their stories.