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June 02, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Alabama legislature passes two bills to implement more aggressive innovation agenda

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed into law two bills passed by the Alabama Legislature designed to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the state while attracting and retaining talented workers for a 21st century economy. HB 540 and HB 609 were developed based on interim policy recommendations by the Alabama Innovation Commission, which was created last year at the governor’s directive.

“The state of Alabama is focused on ensuring our innovation economy is strong,” Governor Ivey said. “The policy ideas developed from the hard work of the Alabama Innovation Commission will create an environment for growth through supporting entrepreneurship, job creation and workforce development.”

  • HB 540 creates the Alabama Innovation Corporation, a first-of-its-kind, public-private partnership in Alabama that will serve as a catalyst for the state’s growing innovation economy. The corporation will be charged with making Alabama a hub for technology and innovation, supporting efforts to enhance growth across the state and ensuring the collaboration that is needed to prepare Alabama for the economy of the future.
  • HB 609 gives Alabama companies the ability to access matching federal grant awards for small business innovation and technology. The law creates the Innovate Alabama Matching Program, which matches federal awards to Alabama-based Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) recipients. The newly-created Alabama Innovation Corporation will oversee the grant program, which will receive annual appropriations from the Education Trust Fund. SBIR and STTR federal programs award over $3.6 billion annually to more than 5,000 companies.

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