Gov. Ivey + Condoleezza Rice gives innovation in Alabama a boost

Innovate Alabama
Senator Greg Reed is pleased to be a part of innovation growth in Alabama. Photo via Tira Davis for The Bama Buzz

Alabama is known for great inventions like windshield wipers and vinyl. Most of the state’s success stories were rooted in innovation. Governor Kay Ivey and other state leaders are working to promote policies that will benefit our current innovators and entrepreneurs through the Alabama Innovation Commission (AIC). We’ve got the details.

What is the AIC’s goal?

Innovate Alabama
Governor Ivey is excited to move our state forward in developing technology. Photo via Tira Davis for The Bama Buzz

Governor Kay Ivey joined Former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and other state leaders to share policy recommendations for the AIC’s policy and announce their board of directors. This announcement acted as part of a shared vision to grow Alabama’s economy through innovation and technology.

Governor Ivey created the AIC in the summer of 2020—a first of its kind. AIC serves as a platform for innovators to engage policymakers, exchange ideas and point out policies that promote innovation in the state. 

Check out this video that Innovate Alabama posted on Vimeo:

The Alabama Innovation Commission is taking us to the next level. Video via Innovate Alabama on Vimeo

The commission is led by Alabama Finance Director Bill Poole and State Senator Greg Reed and partners with Hoover Institution research scholars, led by Director Dr. Rice. Alabama Power Executive Vice President Zeke Smith will act as an advisory council.

In addition to addressing the challenges and red tape that startup companies often face, the commission will examine policies to increase entrepreneurship, spur innovation and enhance technology accelerators. They want to develop policies that will create a more resilient, inclusive, robust economy.

Innovate Alabama is leading our state to the forefront of innovation

Innovate Alabama
What are you most excited to see from Innovate Alabama? Photo via Tira Davis for The Bama Buzz

Innovate Alabama is collaborating with national partners to build the next generation of the first web developers to continue to build the technologies of the future. According to Innovate Alabama, innovation ecosystems are being nurtured to create an environment for those who have the vision and the courage to create a brighter, better tomorrow across the state.

Board members to serve in the Alabama Innovation Corporation, a public-private partnership established by the Legislature in 2021, include:

  • Governor Kay Ivey (ex-officio)
  • Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (ex-officio)
  • Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed (ex-officio)
  • House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (ex-officio)
  • Senator Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (ex-officio)
  • Rich Bielen – President and CEO, Protective Life Corporation (at-large director)
  • Dr. Michael Chambers – Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation, University of South Alabama (at-large director)
  • Abe Harper – President, Harper Technologies (at-large director)
  • David King – President, Dynetics (at-large director)
  • Bill Poole – Director, Alabama Department of Finance (chairman)
  • Britney Summerville – Founder, Birmingham Bound (at-large director)

The policy recommendations that were discussed, center on five areas that address current challenges. Governor Ivey said, each of the following components work together to provide a favorable environment for starting or growing a business:

  • Entrepreneurship and access to capital
  • Talent attraction and retention
  • Increasing commercialization
  • Bridging digital and economy divides
  • Knowledge economy

AIC officials are working hard to develop reports how to make Alabama more innovative and equipped in order to help promote entrepreneurial growth in the state. You can check out their full report here.

“In today’s ever-changing world, innovation is essential for how we elevate Alabama for economic prosperity in all corners of our state. It was an honor to serve as president of the advisory council and I look forward to working together to ensure that Alabama is well-positioned for success in a 21st century economy.”

Zeke Smith, Advisory Council President, Alabama Innovation Comission

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