UAB Annual Impact on the Alabama Economy

As the largest single employer in Alabama, with more than 23,000 employees, UAB partners with organizations such as Birmingham Business Alliance and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama — to spur robust economic development.
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UAB's 2010 Economic Impact Study, which was conducted by the nationally respected firm Tripp-Umbach, calculated UAB's impact on the state of Alabama at $4.6 billion. The economic and employment impact of UAB’s expansion in 2020 (mid-range scenario) is projected to grow to $6.6 billion, generate 72,449 jobs and create $431.4 million in state and local tax revenue.

In 2013, UAB’s annual economic impact on Alabama already exceeds $5 billion:

  • UAB supports more than 61,000 jobs statewide — one in 33 in Alabama.
  • UAB generates $1 in every $25 in the state’s budget.
  • The state’s return on investment in UAB exceeds 20 to 1.

Much of UAB’s impact is generated by technology transfer — taking basic research discoveries to the marketplace.

  • As of 2013, the UAB Research Foundation has helped create 55 startup companies and negotiate more than 430 option and license agreements exceeding $64 million in revenues.
  • Our partnership with the Birmingham Entrepreneurial Center has produced the largest high-tech business incubator in the Southeast — Innovation Depot, home to 91 client companies with a sales impact of $237 million in 2012 and $1 billion during the past four years.
  • UAB and affiliate Southern Research Institute — which generates more than $80 million in revenues annually and has more than 550 employees — have a longtime and fruitful research partnership in drug discovery, materials engineering, high-performance computing, gene therapy and other areas. Their collaborative Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance has 20 potential new pharmaceuticals in the pipeline.
  • UAB and the Birmingham Business Alliance have partnered in an exciting new joint initiative called “i2i” (Invention to Innovation) to speed up the technology-transfer process and move innovations more quickly to commercialization.
  • In 2013, UAB launched its Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as the nexus for innovation, entrepreneurial educational models, applied research, management of intellectual property and an entry point for industries seeking to collaborate with UAB. The IIE will focus on ensuring rapid development of new ideas, products and groundbreaking technologies.

UAB plans to commission another economic impact report as a follow-up to its 2010 Economic Impact Study.

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