Study: HudsonAlpha’s Economic Impact Exceeds $1.3 Billion Since Inception

Business Council of Alabama member HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville has created a state economic impact in excess of $1.3 billion since its inception in 2006, according to a recent economic impact analysis conducted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The UAH analysis shows that HudsonAlpha and its resident associate companies have had a positive employment impact on the state, growing each year to reach 1,177 direct and multiplier jobs in 2014, HudsonAlpha said in a release.

The total payroll associated with these jobs was $66.3 million in 2014 and a cumulative $491.1 million  since 2006. In 2014, the average annual wage from direct jobs was $72,917, HudsonAlpha said.

“HudsonAlpha continues to play a prominent role as a global leader in genomic research and discovery,” said Richard M. Myers, Ph.D., HudsonAlpha’s President and Science Director. “We know HudsonAlpha brings tremendous economic value to Alabama, but we are so pleased to have this study to show the extent of the impact for our state.

“The best part is, we are just beginning to hit our stride,” he said.

HudsonAlpha is a nonprofit organization founded by innovators Jim Hudson and Lonnie McMillian to translate the promise of genomic research into real-world benefits for people and their communities. Its mission spans genomic research, economic development, and educational outreach.

“This study shows the unique model that Lonnie and I envisioned is not only working, but exceeding our expectations,” Hudson said. “We are achieving our goals for moving discoveries to the marketplace while creating a life science hub in North Alabama.”

Located in Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park, HudsonAlpha facilities include the state-of-the-art 270,000 square foot building designed to foster collaboration between scientific research teams, educators, entrepreneurs and the community. HudsonAlpha collaborates with research universities and institutes, economic development organizations as well as educators at various grade levels.

“HudsonAlpha is a great asset to the State of Alabama, and today’s report is a testament to the role HudsonAlpha has made in our state both in job creation and research and discovery,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “In a brief period of time, HudsonAlpha has strengthened Alabama’s position in the life science field. HudsonAlpha is a key player in the state’s economic development strategic plan, Accelerate Alabama, because of its ability to create jobs for the people in Alabama.”

A key HudsonAlpha mission is to support life science entrepreneurs and companies to improve their potential for success. Measures of HudsonAlpha’s success include growth in the number of life science companies and the average tenure of a company on the Institute’s campus.

In 2007 HudsonAlpha began with five associate companies, and by the end of 2014 this had increased to 28.

The average length of time companies have been associated with HudsonAlpha increased to 4.5 years in 2014 and the average tenure of associate companies has increased each year even with the acquisition of several successful companies since 2006.

“Economic Impact Analysis, 2006-2014, for the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology” was prepared by the Center for Management & Economic Research at UAH. This study reflects the impact of the entire biotech campus, combining economic data from the nonprofit HudsonAlpha as well as more than two-dozen, for-profit associate companies that call HudsonAlpha home.

The analysis indicates that 710 direct full- and part-time jobs and 467 multiplier jobs, for a total of 1,177 jobs in 2014, were impacted by HudsonAlpha and associated companies.

The rate of job growth during the period of the study was 23 percent annually. 

“We are proud of the findings from this study, and all of us working at HudsonAlpha are re-energized as we continue to build a destination for innovation in the life sciences,” said Carter Wells, HudsonAlpha Vice President for Economic Development.

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to innovating in the field of genomic technology and sciences across a spectrum of biological problems. Its three-fold mission is to spark scientific discoveries that can impact human health and well-being, foster biotech entrepreneurship and economic development, and encourage the creation of a genomics-literate workforce and society.

-Dana Beyerle