“NEXT” campaign highlights the contributions made by Alabama companies

Alabama State Capitol
Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

The Alabama Department of Commerce launched a digital campaign called “NEXT” yesterday during the Economic Development Association of Alabama’s summer conference. This campaign highlights contributions the state of Alabama has made to high tech industries around the world. Keep reading to nerd out with me.

What is the “NEXT” campaign?

The “NEXT” campaign highlights the contributions that Alabama has had in high tech fields such as national defense, space exploration, bioscience, advanced manufacturing and mobility technologies. It also represents a new chapter in the Chamber’s “Made in Alabama” brand.

“We want to make sure the world knows about the exciting developments unfolding in Alabama that illustrate the extraordinary capabilities of our workforce and the next-level innovation taking place in our key industries”

Greg Canfield, Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce

What’s happening in Alabama?

Next Campaign Logo
NEXT campaign logo. Photo via MadeinAlabama website


Alabama is quickly becoming a launch pad of imagination. According to the Made in Alabama website, Alabama is home to the largest rocket factory in the nation. In addition, Huntsville plays a huge role in the future advancements of space travel. The technology that is currently being worked on in our over 400 Aerospace and Defense companies will slingshot us to the next frontier — space.

The state’s not just building rockets either. Between 2018 and 2020, Alabama exported about $6.5B of Aerospace exports.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is all about creating more efficient ways to work. This is something that Alabama is constantly creating. We all know about robots being able to do a lot of heavy lifting in a number of jobs. What’s also cool is that engineers at AIDT, in partnership with TRANSFR, have created virtual reality training, which allows workers to know how to perform their jobs before they even begin.


Alabama is home for several car manufacturing plants from big names such as Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. Recently, Alabama car manufacturers have been adapting to keep up with the high demand for electric cars. These cars are becoming more commonplace and affordable over time.

Currently, Southern Research is exploring new ways to repurpose old EV batteries as energy storage systems for offices and factories. New Flyer of America’s Anniston plant employs Alabamians to build next-generation electric buses as cities look to become cleaner. The need for cleaner cities increases the demand for zero emissions buses.


This is the stuff of the future right here. According to Made in Alabama, nearly 18,000 people are employed to improve the sequence of life itself. The research done here will change how we grow our food, fight diseases and create revolutionary solutions to life’s challenges for generations to come.

There have been over 576 Bioscience patents between 2016 and 2019 in the state of Alabama. Unlocking the secrets to life will allow us to prepare better for the uncertain road ahead. As always, it is better to be ahead than to have to play catch up.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about how Alabama’s becoming a scientific hero, check out more on the “NEXT” campaign.

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Josh Pleasants
Josh Pleasants
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