HudsonAlpha generates $2.45B in economic impact for Alabama

HudsonAlpha generates $2.45B in economic impact for Alabama
The 105,000-square-foot Paul Propst Center, which opened last year, is helping to fuel the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology's exponential growth. (contributed)

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has made a $2.45 billion impact on the Alabama economy, according to a recent study conducted by the Center for Management & Economic Research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

Impacts from employment, revenue and capital expenditures (construction and equipment) are included in the data analysis from 2006 to 2018. HudsonAlpha and resident associate companies co-located and interacting on the biotech campus in Cummings Research Park have continued to expand their footprint in multiple sectors across the biosciences including research, testing and medical labs (with 71% of the economic dollar impact), drugs and pharmaceutical, medical devices and equipment.

“HudsonAlpha has been instrumental in growing the business of biotech in North Alabama. Just over 10 years ago, there were only a few people and companies dedicated to working in biotech, but now HudsonAlpha has a remarkable track record of success and growth,” said Jim Hudson, co-founder of HudsonAlpha. “These numbers show that the model we [Hudson and co-founder Lonnie McMillian] created works and that we’re positioned for the future.”

The study reflects data from more than 30 resident associate companies, a number that has continued to grow since the conclusion of the study in 2018. Now, more than 40 companies choose the biotech campus for lab and office space in an entrepreneurial bioscience ecosystem.

“Biotech companies located at HudsonAlpha have opportunities that are not available anywhere else. On the HudsonAlpha campus, entrepreneurs and companies of every stage and size can interact with global leaders in genomics; participate in mentoring initiatives with men and women with decades of success in science and business; and work in an environment of cooperation and encouragement where people see the benefits in everyone’s success,” said Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha. “The model created by the founders is unique, but the 800 people on campus make HudsonAlpha a destination for those who want to be on the leading edge of biotech.”

According to the study, HudsonAlpha has contributed 2,063 direct and multiplier jobs to Alabama with an estimated $863 million in payroll since 2006. This exponential growth is due in part to the additional space on HudsonAlpha’s campus such as the Paul Propst Center, opened in fall 2018. The 105,000-square-foot building houses education and research programs, as well as several of the growing for-profit associate companies.

“HudsonAlpha is a critical component to Alabama being in position to expand our bioscience activity. The positive impact of HudsonAlpha and the 40-plus biotech companies to Alabama’s economy is remarkable, but there is so much more that they do for our state. HudsonAlpha is making breakthroughs on cancer, working with Alabama farmers for better crops, diagnosing rare diseases for children and educating students, teachers and the public. I can’t wait to see what’s next for HudsonAlpha,” said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

“This study reflects our ability to train, recruit and retain top biotech talent in Alabama and help strengthen the state’s economy,” said Rick Myers, Ph.D., HudsonAlpha president and science director. “It’s important to have our campus contribute economic value and provide higher-wage jobs in Alabama in an industry that is advancing human health care and the sustainability of food and energy resources.”

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