Return on Investment
Start-up companies incubated at OADI and Innovation Depot have had an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion on Birmingham.
Only a thin ribbon of asphalt separates UAB Hospital from the research labs across the street. But it can take years—and millions of dollars—for a revolutionary idea to make the trip. That’s where Birmingham’s Innovation Depot comes in. The high-tech “incubator” provides clients with office space and the advice they need to turn brilliant concepts into viable businesses.
Current residents (as of 2009) include Photonics Innovations, an international leader in laser technology that is commercializing the discoveries of UAB physics researcher Sergey Mirov, Ph.D. More than 50 start-up companies are working in the Depot’s downtown location, only a few blocks from the UAB campus that brought many of them to life. The Depot itself is partly a UAB creation, formed by the merger of the former UAB Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI) and the Birmingham Entrepreneurial Center. Since 1986, OADI and Innovation Depot have nurtured nearly 100 companies, many with direct ties to UAB.
Pocketful of Patents
UAB research has led to more than 1,300 active patents and patent applications, according to the UAB Research Foundation. The foundation has disclosed more than 1,800 inventions and signed nearly 350 license or option agreements, generating just under $47 million in revenue.
Of that total:
$13,187,812 went to the researchers
$9,395,327 went to their departments
$7,827,644 went to their schools
$5,782,001 went to the university
Three Successful Start-Ups With UAB Origins
Biohorizons—Manufactures innovative dental implants; recently funded a state-of-the-art clinic at the UAB School of Dentistry for restorative, implant, and cosmetic dentistry
MedMined—Uses data-mining software to track and prevent health care-associated infections; the company, now a subsidiary of Cardinal Health, tracks millions of hospital admissions each year
Transmolecular—Develops targeted therapies for cancers with few other treatment options available; currently testing a "tumor-targeting compound" derived from scorpion venom