ALEPSCoR Executive Director (and CAS Physics Professor) Dr. Christopher Lawson, played an instrumental role in a number of new Alabama Innovation Fund (AIF) awards, announced by Governor Bentley on October 3rd at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference.
UAB was awarded three Alabama Innovation Fund (AIF) awards, totaling $1.9 million. “By awarding these grants, we are investing in new opportunities that will benefit our communities for years to come,” Governor Bentley said. “The Alabama Innovation Fund supports high-tech research and innovative ideas.
These grants will lead to new innovations for our communities and more jobs for Alabamians.” The picture shows Governor Bentley thanking ALESPCoR Executive Director Dr. Lawson (far left, who set up the AIF Review Process for the Department of Commerce) and other key members of the AIF program, UAB Associate VP for Research Dr. Charles Prince, UA VP for Research Dr. Joe Benson, and Auburn Associate VP for Research Dr. Carl Pinkert.
Dr. Anthony Skjellum, Chair of the CAS Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and co-founder of UAB’s Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research (CIA|JFR), received an AIF Research Award of $184,000 to commercialize recent novel IT technologies, software and cybercrime-related practices created in the CIA|JFR, the CIS department and the Department of Justice Sciences. CAS’s Dr. Skjelllum has developed a strategic vision to establish a mixed reality training center (MRTC) that will be recognized as a national leader in integrated information visualization and highfidelity science-driven computational and physical simulation-based mixed reality education and training.
In addition, two other professors were awarded grants from the AIF, Dr. Robert Kimberly, Director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science received $1.6M, and Dr. Bharat Soni, Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was awarded $200,000.
ALEPSCoR, which worked with the Alabama Department of Commerce on these awards, consists of the seven Alabama Ph.D. granting institutions (each with a VP for Research on the Steering Committee), and a state government representative. As Executive Director, CAS’s Dr. Lawson has overall responsibility and authority for the day-to-day operation, management and coordination of the ALEPSCoR program, which consists of over 15 million dollars ($15M) of research expenditures in 2010. He also heads up the Alabama Graduate Research Scholars Program, which provides for one million dollars of yearly support for Alabama high-tech graduate students, a total of $6.5 M resulting in 27 M.S. degrees and 73 Ph.D. degrees in these high tech EPSCoR Research areas by the end of this fiscal year. For more information on ALEPSCoR, see www.ALEPSCoR.org.