Economic Development at UAB

Big picture

“UAB discoveries don’t just save lives—they fuel Alabama’s economic growth,” says UAB President Ray L. Watts.

0313 brand4new“Do you want to know
how to build the future?”

Instructor Brian Pillay (left in both images) helps students such as Nathan Jemison (right) transform bold ideas into reality at the Engineering Design Lab.
Since its founding in the mid-1980s, the UAB Research Foundation has created more than $60 million in royalty and license fees with more than 2,100 invention disclosures, 650 patents, and more than 400 licenses and other agreements.

Now, its presence will expand, operating as the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, integrating the Research Foundation’s existing strengths and capabilities, enhancing and facilitating service and technology commercialization. A key focus will be on engaging faculty and creating new experiential learning opportunities for students, all the while encouraging more interdisciplinary research.

But UAB’s economic impact on Birmingham and Alabama is greater than the sum of its new knowledge. The university is the state’s largest single-site employer, with an annual impact exceeding $5 billion. “To put that another way, for every dollar Alabama invests in UAB, we return more than $20 through jobs and economic development,” Watts says.

UAB’s education programs, especially its strengths in emerging fields such as biomedical engineering, industrial distribution, computer security, and neuroscience, prepare today’s students to be the leaders of tomorrow, Watts adds.


Find out how UAB is training a new generation of computer security gurus in "1-Up," a feature from UAB Magazine—and play a video game inspired by UAB's computer security research:

cybersm"...The coup was made possible in part by UAB’s Gary Warner and graduate student Brian Tanner. In January 2012, the site’s security team thanked Warner and Tanner by name for their help in stopping the menace.

clickheresm'Brian had been investigating Koobface since 2008,' Warner says. 'Several times, his work made the criminals change what they were doing. One time, he determined a way to cause Koobface to dump out a list of all the user passwords that it had, and then we contacted Google and Yahoo and Facebook and had them change all those passwords.

'In one day, the criminals lost 100,000 users...'” Read more

Get the details on UAB's economic impact at


Next > Do you want to discover lost worlds? And find new ones? Gauging the impact of UAB research

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