Innovation and technology thrive in the Birmingham seven-county region. The regional innovation ecosystem is supported by major assets such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the largest employer in Alabama, Southern Research Institute, with seven FDA-approved drugs on the market, and Innovation Depot, the largest and most successful business technology incubator in the Southeast.
Birmingham is a regional hub for health care, with 16 hospitals in the region that collectively had nearly 1 million patient days in 2015. In life science research, there was more than $272 million awarded regionally from the National Institutes of Health. Birmingham is one of the largest banking markets in the United States and is home to numerous angel and venture capital groups. It is strategically located in Southeastern U.S. – within 175 miles of Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee.
Birmingham also boasts more than 700 technology-based companies. Some of the largest and most notable biotechnology employers in the region include Evonik, which specializes in drug delivery technologies and manufacturing for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies and employs 800 people in Alabama; Steris, a global infection prevention, decontamination and surgical and critical care company; and Oxford Pharmaceuticals, which recently opened a new
drug manufacturing facility here. Birmingham is Alabama’s economic engine and the world-class institutions and companies based in the region are leading innovation in Alabama.