is by far the largest performer of federal R&D in the Gulf
States region. DOD and NASA both have key facilities in Alabama
coupled with strong university research initiatives. In FY
1997, Alabama received almost $2.3 billion in R&D funds from
the federal government, placing it ninth among the 50 states
and the District of Columbia (see Alabama
Table). This is 3.2 percent of total federal R&D for a
state with a population of 4.3 million or 1.6 percent of the
total U.S. population.
NASA are the two biggest contributors to Alabama's R&D base.
DOD accounts for almost 60 percent of federal R&D funds for
Alabama providing $1.3 billion in 1997. NASA contributed $736
million in FY 1997 or 33 percent of Alabama's total.
largest recipient of federal funds for R&D in Alabama is industry.
$1.36 billion of federal funds was provided to industry in
the performance of R&D in Alabama during FY 1997. Federal
labs received $661 million, universities received $220 million
on R&D, and other nonprofit institutions were provided $20
million in FY 1997.
of federal funds for industry came from DOD which contributed
$930 million. NASA was next with $401 million and DOE provided
$22 million in FY 1997. The majority of R&D performed by industrial
firms in Alabama appears to support initiatives for the two
major federal laboratories in the area, the Army's Redstone
Arsenal and NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.
of the more notable industrial firms located in Alabama include
the Aegis Research Corporation which develops defense and
aerospace software; Teledyne Advanced Materials and Teledyne
Brown Engineering; Chrysler Huntsville Electronics which performs
R&D for advanced electronic products; Monsanto's Decatur Technical
Center which conducts basic and applied research in polymers
and textiles; the Nichols Research Corporation which performs
R&D on information technology issues concerning healthcare
information; and Raytheon Engineering & Constructors, Inc.
which specializes in engineering and construction of industrial
plants and energy-related installations.
surprising, DOD and NASA are again the two primary sources
of federally funded R&D performed in federal laboratories
with contributions of $350 million and $300 million respectively.
The USDA is a distant third with $6 million for R&D performed
in federal labs in FY 1997.
most obvious federal labs in Alabama are the Redstone Arsenal
and the George C. Marshall Space Center. The Redstone Arsenal
is part of the U.S. Army Missile Command and conducts R&D
for the Army's missile and rocket program along with providing
support for already existing weapons.
Space Flight Center is NASA's prime facility for developing
space transportation and propulsion systems. It is also NASA's
"center of excellence" for microgravity research and space
optics manufacturing technologies.
federal lab initiatives include the USDA's Fish Disease and
Parasites Research Laboratory and National Soil Dynamics Laboratory,
the Tennessee Valley Authority's Analytical Laboratory and
Environmental Research Center; the EPA's National Air and
Radiation Environmental Laboratory; and the U.S. Air Force's
Air University and Air Power Research Institute at Maxwell
Air Force Base.
universities performed $220 million of federal R&D in FY 1997
with the HHS contributing the most with $134 million. The
University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) led the way with $152
million in federal funds in FY 1997. Auburn University ($23
million), University of Alabama Huntsville ($19 million),
Alabama A&M ($10 million), University of Southern Alabama
($10 million), and Tuskegee University ($7 million) followed.
is one of the leading medical research universities in the
nation. It ranked 19th in NIH funds in 1997, 15th in school
of medicine NIH funds, 25th in overall federal R&D funds,
and is a Research I University according to the Carnegie groupings.
Some of its research centers include the Alabama Congenital
Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Center, Kirklin Pain
Treatment Center, Multipurpose Arthritis and Muscoskeletal
Diseases Center, and Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis
university initiatives include the Space Power Institute at
Auburn University, the Automation Robotics Center and the
Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research at the University
of Alabama Huntsville, the Center for Materials and Information
Technology at the University of Alabama, and the Center for
Food and Environmental Systems for Human Exploration of Space
and the Tuskegee Center for Advanced Materials at Tuskegee
universities have also banded together to create the Alabama
Space Grant Consortium. The Consortium consists of six doctoral
granting universities and other colleges (Alabama A&M, the
Alabama School for Math and Science, Athens State College,
Auburn, Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College, Oakwood
College, Samford University, Spring Hill College, Stillman
College, UAB, UAH, and the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa).
The consortium's aim is to coordinate the state's participation
in NASA's EPSCoR program. It has achieved a funding of $6
million for the next five years.
independent nonprofit research institutions received $20 million
in federal funds in FY 1997. The largest of these is the Southern
Research Institute in Birmingham. The Institute specializes
in a variety of research fields ranging from metal-lurgy to
animal pathology. Also, UAB has created the UAB Re-search
Foundation whose mission is to identify, assess, and mar-ket
any commercially viable technologies developed at UAB.
initiatives in Alabama are abundant, starting with the Alabama
Innovation Fund created to provide capital to university and
business partnerships to promote development of products and
services utilizing cutting edge technology. The Alabama Research
Institute, funded through state general revenue, is a board
consisting of private sector, government, and university officials
whose interest is supporting research that address activities
critical to Alabama's economy. The Alabama Educational Trust
Fund supports the Alabama Supercomputer Center in Huntsville.
Monies for the Trust Fund come from sales of services to industry,
and federal contracts and grants. The Alabama Research and
Education Network (AREN) was established to provide Internet
access to state universities, colleges, and schools. AREN
is part of Internet 2, a national effort between universities,
industry, and nonprofit institutions to provide computer science
and technology tools for education.