Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $2.57 million to encourage new and continuing research that will result in products and services that will improve the lives of Alabamians either from the products themselves or from new job opportunities.
The grants, awarded to five Alabama universities and research institutions including the Basham Institute of Science in Dadeville, are from the Alabama Research and Development Enhancement Fund. The state-funded program was created in 2019 under the Alabama Innovation Act which was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Ivey.
“The research being performed at our universities and institutions offer strong evidence that innovation is alive and well in Alabama," Ivey said. “These grants will help provide the needed resources to bring even more ideas and research to light, eventually resulting in new products and new job opportunities.”
This is the second round of ARDEF funds awarded. Ivey earlier this year awarded $2.27 million in grants to state research institutions and programs. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants.
“When our state’s educational facilities excel in research and productivity, that benefits all of Alabama,” ADECA director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey as a partner in this program that can have such a meaningful impact on our state.”
Those awarded grants, grant amounts and a brief description of the projects are:
Basham Institute of Science (Dadeville)
• $7,481 – To explore using cellulose fibers to improve crop production.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
• $746,104 – To conduct research and develop a plan to help the state’s economy recover during events like COVID-19 and other economic downturns.
• $172,073- To conduct research relating to rural employment and the need for an Alabama Irrigated Acreage Survey, involving demand and forecast.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
• $906,458- To develop a marketable vascular graft procedure relating to heart surgery.
• $394,926- To conduct research relating to providing a sustainable transportation system to serve low-income persons and other vulnerable populations.
• $247,142- To research developing a paper-based device for a cost-effective method to detect dangerous formaldehyde emissions in wood panels.
• $75,374 – To conduct research relating to the design, fabrication and testing of novel medical facemasks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or future contagious viruses.
• $7,481 – To research biotechnology methods to convert agricultural and municipal waste into bioplastics
• $7,481 – To conduct research relating to the production of aviation biofuels from natural waste products.
The University of Alabama
• $7,481- To research wood-concrete structural elements for use in modular buildings and the transportation industry.
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, victim programs, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation.