Huntsville Mayor Announces City Biotech Initiative

Huntsville, Ala. — Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle announced today the formation of the Huntsville Biotech Initiative to focus on promoting the future of the biotech industry in Huntsville.

Huntsville already has a strong presence in the biotech field. HudsonAlpha’s Institute for Biotechnology is home to 27 companies on its campus in Cummings Research Park, and Qualitest in Chase Industrial Park is among the largest manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals.

“With the talent and ability we have in Huntsville, we are destined to reach new heights in this arena,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “HudsonAlpha is growing several small companies that will continue to enhance our current corporate ecosystem, and when you factor in our strong public and private schools, colleges and universities, we have the right ingredients to become the next great biotech hub.”

Huntsville’s Biotech Initiative joins the City’s Geospatial, Energy and Cyber initiatives, also created by Mayor Battle. He believes biotechnology and the life sciences are priorities for the city’s overall economic development strategy.

“We need to build upon the successes of the nonprofit research and the private sector to position Huntsville as the destination for companies to expand,” said Mayor Battle. “Of equal importance is the need to offer a well-developed business environment for biotech entrepreneurs to start and grow their companies. The Biotech Initiative will be instrumental in creating a roadmap for success.”

The Biotech Initiative and will bring people together from industry, research, academia and government to shape the city’s strategy to grow in the area of technological applications that use biological systems. The Biotech Initiative Advisory Committee will include Harrison Diamond, the City’s Business Relations Officer; Carter Wells, Vice President for Economic Development at HudsonAlpha; Caron St. John, Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Peggy Sammon, Chief Executive Officer of GeneCapture; Adam Hott, Coordinator of Educational Outreach at HudsonAlpha; key members of the Qualitest Pharmaceuticals management team; and Marshall Schreeder with Conversant Bio.

Mayor Battle’s announcement today is a part of Huntsville Life Sciences Week, which encourages discussions about advancements in genomics, biotechnology and other areas focused on growing the biotech sector in Huntsville.