City of Dothan receives funding for Wiregrass Innovation Center; to house HudsonAlpha Wiregrass once completed.

By: Emily Adelman

The Wiregrass Innovation Center is one step closer to becoming a physical reality in downtown Dothan. Teachers, students and partners have benefited from the HudsonAlpha Wiregrass, a partnership between the City of Dothan and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, for more than six months. Thanks to the state of Alabama and the Wiregrass Foundation, the Wiregrass Innovation Center will, among other functions, provide a space for the HudsonAlpha Wiregrass partnership to conduct activity around its three mission areas: Education, Research and Economic Development.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Dothan, Alabama and the Wiregrass at large,” City of Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba said. “I, along with the City Commissioners, are committed to working with local, regional, and statewide leaders to expand the area’s potential to provide high skilled, high wage jobs, right here in the Wiregrass.”

The state of Alabama approved funding for Dothan’s new Wiregrass Innovation Center. It will provide $20 million for the building, which is a collaborative effort between the City of Dothan, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the Wiregrass Foundation. The Foundation will provide $10 million for the Center, which is expected to be built next to the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

“The City of Dothan’s work to build a Wiregrass Innovation Center is about growing the economy of the Wiregrass, adding the field of genomics to the agricultural heritage of the community, and providing educational opportunities for students and adults that connect to tomorrow’s careers,” Dr. Neil Lamb, President of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, said. “We are thrilled to be a part of this center and look forward to partnerships and collaborations to enhance economic growth.”

The Wiregrass Innovation Center will serve several other major functions, including being a home for hands-on training and practical learning in science, genomics, research, technology and innovation; and will create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs and innovators in Dothan and the Wiregrass area. 

Construction on the Wiregrass Innovation Center will begin in early 2024, with the goal to be ready in 2025.