September 17, 2009

U.S. Chamber Study Highlights Alabama’s Innovative Contributions

WASHINGTON, DC-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Alabama’s contributions to America’s innovation economy. This study is part of GIPC’s State Fact Sheets, which provide a look at the roles innovation and creativity play in each state. The report highlights local companies and facts demonstrating how innovation and creativity-which are safeguarded by strong IP rights-serve as a driving force behind economic recovery and future growth.

“Alabama is a leader in America’s innovative economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. More than 300 aerospace companies are located in Alabama, creating more than 73,000 direct jobs with an annual payroll of more than $3 billion. Furthermore, Alabama’s innovative economy supports 4,242 tech companies, employing 72,440 workers with a combined payroll of $4.6 billion. “The Alabama economy depends on this spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism,” added Esper.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Alabama. In 2007 alone, Alabama innovators received 358 patents. In addition, Alabama ranks 14th nationally for its 1,296 firms that conduct research and development. A notable example is the Southern Research Institute (SRI), a diversified network of scientific discovery and technology development centers with facilities in Birmingham, Anniston, and Wilsonville. SRI has worked to create innovative solutions in the life sciences, engineering, and energy sectors for more than 60 years.

“Indeed Alabamians are proven innovators,” said Esper. “Cortisone, vinyl, the Klaxon auto horn, and hearing aid are just a few examples of great ideas that originated in the state. America has a unique story to tell, and Alabama plays a large role in this story.”

The Alabama State Fact Sheet is intended to be a resource for legislators, policymakers, and the public to identify successful companies, inventors, creative artists, and innovators to better understand the role they play in our economy and society. As part of an easy-to-use, interactive map, the State Fact Sheet project can be accessed online at, as well as in a printable format.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

For more information, please contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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