HudsonAlpha Generates $2.45B Economic Impact for Alabama, Study Shows

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology contributed a whopping $2.45 billion to Alabama’s statewide economy, according to a data analysis from the Center for Management & Economic Research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The data, taken from an analysis conducted between 2006 and 2018 said three factors had the most impact including employment, revenue and capital expenditures.

The study reflects data from more than 30 resident associate companies located on the HudsonAlpha campus through 2018, but that number has grown to more than 40 companies currently, who are leasing lab and entrepreneurial office space on campus.

The data includes the impact HudsonAlpha’s entrepreneurial bioscience ecosystem had on its expanding footprint in Cummings Research Park as those associates have expanded into multiple sectors across the biosciences including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, equipment, and research, testing and medical labs, which represent 71 percent of the economic dollar impact.

“HudsonAlpha has been instrumental in growing the business of biotech in North Alabama,” said Jim Hudson, co-founder of HudsonAlpha. “Just over ten years ago, there were only a few people and companies dedicated to working in biotech, but we have a remarkable track record of success and growth. These numbers show that the model we [Hudson and late co-founder Lonnie McMillian] created works, and we are positioned for the future.”  

HudsonAlpha co-founders Jim Hudson, left, and the late Lonnie McMillian. (Photo courtesy of HudsonAlpha).

A key to the success of HudsonAlpha is the uniqueness of its associate companies.

“Biotech companies located at HudsonAlpha have opportunities that are not available anywhere else,” said Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha. “On campus, entrepreneurs and companies of every stage and size can interact with global leaders in genomics; participate in mentoring initiatives with men and women with decades of success in science and business; and work in an environment of cooperation and encouragement where people see the benefits in everyone’s success.

“The model created by the founders is unique, but the 800 people on campus make HudsonAlpha a destination for those who want to be on the leading edge of biotech.”

According to the study, HudsonAlpha has contributed 2,063 direct and multiplier jobs to Alabama with an estimated $863 million in payroll since 2006. This exponential growth is due in part to the additional space on HudsonAlpha’s campus such as the Paul Propst Center, which opened in fall 2018. The 105,000 square-foot facility houses education and research programs, as well as several of the growing for-profit associate companies. 

“HudsonAlpha is a critical component to Alabama being in position to expand our bioscience activity,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “The positive impact of HudsonAlpha and the 40+ biotech companies to Alabama’s economy is remarkable but there is so much more that they do for our state.

“HudsonAlpha is making breakthroughs on cancer, working with Alabama farmers for better crops, diagnosing rare disease for children and educating students, teachers and the public. I can’t wait to see what’s next for HudsonAlpha.”

“This study reflects our ability to train, recruit and retain top biotech talent in Alabama and help strengthen the state’s economy,” said HudsonAlpha President/Science Director Dr. Rick Myers. “It’s important to have our campus contribute economic value and provide higher-wage jobs in Alabama in an industry that is advancing human healthcare and the sustainability of food and energy resources.”