UA and the Office for Research & Economic Development are committed to enhancing the economic well-being of the state and the region. Our efforts focus on addressing the economic development needs of distressed and rural communities; building resource teams and programs around community development needs; and providing leadership that develops nontraditional and new mechanisms for economic development. The University’s efforts to encourage and foster entrepreneurship are growing the number of start-ups and future inventors for state, regional and national economies.
The Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs center (AIME) helps University of Alabama faculty, staff and students make their ideas, inventions and innovations commercially successful for the benefit of the University, the economy and society.
The Trade Center was established in 1979, by Dr. William R. Bennett, Emeritus Professor of Marketing and International Business at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration. In his honor upon retirement, the Center was designated as the William R. Bennett Alabama International Trade Center. Today the Trade Center employs five full time professionals, four consultants, and fifteen student assistants. It operates as a federal-state partnership program between The University of Alabama and the U.S. Small Business Administration, promoting SBA’s export financing programs in Alabama.
The Trade Center is an institutional member of the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network (ASBDC), a statewide network of 10 management and technical assistance centers. The Center is also a founding member of the Export Alabama Trade Alliance, a statewide export promotion network led by the International Trade Division of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Founded in 1987, The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED), directed by Nisa Miranda, serves as a gateway to technical assistance resources at The University of Alabama. Through the utilization of professional staff and customized project teams, UACED assists communities, agencies and organizations to take an “asset based” planning approach to economic development opportunities.
The University of Alabama’s Economic Development Academy, launching in 2016, will prepare the next generation of economic development leaders as well as those partners that influence a community’s competitiveness. The Economic Development Academy is established to ensure that Alabama economic development agencies have prepared professionals, supportive elected officials and robust communities to lead us through the next decades.
The mission of the Office for Technology Transfer (OTT) is to effectively manage and deploy the intellectual property assets of the University. OTT is primarily responsible for commercializing the innovations generated by UA faculty, staff, and students, either through licenses to industry partners or via the formation of spin-off enterprises based on UA IP.