Where ideas are cultivated and supported

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) strives to be a first-in-class institution created to serve as the nexus for UAB innovation, entrepreneurial educational models, applied research, management of intellectual property and an entry point for industries seeking to collaborate with UAB, our world-class university.

Why first-in-class?

The IIE brings a cross-disciplinary technology transfer and academic approach to a new, elevated level. To accomplish this, the IIE will focus on technology based economic development utilizing core academic and research strengths, combined with an experiential practicum, to ensure rapid development of new ideas, products and ground breaking technologies. We will better prepare students, faculty, researchers and UAB innovators to be leaders in our increasingly technology-driven universe.

The IIE will provide first-in-class interdisciplinary approaches to learning that include transitioning away from traditional classroom and lecture formats to “experiential learning” models where students work adjacently on active technologies that will value technology transfer, enable “collisions” to move innovations efficiently through the commercialization pipeline, and with a real focus on commercialization and licensing outcomes.

The IIE empowers cross-campus disciplines, while actively seeking real solutions for our local regional and state partnerships, utilizing the deep scientific and academic talent base residing within the core of UAB. This includes aggressively marshaling core curricula in education, innovation, knowledge, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and community/industrial engagement in novel means to drive technology based economic development.

  The greatest return on investment in UAB is the impact
 of its discoveries on the economy and the quality of life 
for our society now and in the future.


To create an internationally recognized university institute that inspires, discovers, innovates and creates successful entrepreneurial ventures and valuable products.


To provide, foster and promote a strong innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem through education and experiential learning that will facilitate the successful practice of entrepreneurship at UAB, the region and beyond.


  • Empower ALL on the UAB campus to inspire, discover, innovate and create.
  • Create a faster pathway from idea to commercialization.
  • Develop and enhance UAB's undergraduate and graduate programs in entrepreneurship, innovation and new venture management.
  • Become a stronger economic development pillar for Birmingham, the State, the region and the country.