Alabama’s greatest success stories are rooted in innovation. Our trailblazers continue to pave the way to meet the demands of our evolving world through forward-thinking 21st century technologies.

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Timeline

Timeline

1903

Mary Anderson secures a patent for windshield wipers

Mary Anderson secures a patent for windshield wipers

Birmingham native Mary Anderson applies for and secures a patent for windshield wipers.

1906

George Washington Carver creates the Jessup Agricultural Wagon

George Washington Carver creates the Jessup Agricultural Wagon

George Washington Carver creates the Jessup Agricultural Wagon, a horse-drawn vehicle that allows Carver to do demonstrations of his peanut-based foods and products to farmers. Carver would go on to develop approximately 300 products made from peanuts.

1909

Orville and Wilbur Wright establish “flying school”

Orville and Wilbur Wright establish “flying school”

Orville and Wilbur Wright establish “flying school” just outside of Montgomery, six years after their first flight, positioning Alabama for a future in aerospace.

1958

NASA opens the Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA opens the Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA establishes presence in Huntsville, Alabama, with the opening of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

1969

NASA develops the Saturn V rocket

NASA develops the Saturn V rocket

Huntsville-based crews begin developing the Saturn V rocket, which put the first man on the moon in NASA’s world-famous Apollo 11 mission.

1969

University of Alabama at Birmingham is established

University of Alabama at Birmingham is established

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is established, joining the University’s medical and dental schools which were there since the 1940s. UAB will soon become an internationally renowned research and academic institution.

1994

Mercedes-Benz establishes a plant in Alabama

Mercedes-Benz establishes a plant in Alabama

Mercedes-Benz breaks ground in Vance, Alabama, establishing a lasting presence for the first Mercedes vehicle assembly plant outside of Germany and putting Alabama on the global map for automotive manufacturing.

2008

HudsonAlpha opens in Huntsville

HudsonAlpha opens in Huntsville

HudsonAlpha opens its doors in Huntsville, Alabama, earning national recognition as a global leader in genetics and genomic technology.

2011

Innovation Depot contributes over $1 billion in economic impact

Innovation Depot contributes over $1 billion in economic impact

Innovation Depot, a Birmingham-based startup incubator, is estimated to contribute over $1 billion in economic impact for the state.

2017

Target acquires Birmingham-based Shipt

Target acquires Birmingham-based Shipt

Target Corp. reaches a deal with Birmingham-based same-day grocery delivery service, Shipt. Target announces it will acquire Shipt for $550 million in cash.

2018

Mercedes-Benz opens new state-of-the-art electric battery plant

Mercedes-Benz opens new state-of-the-art electric battery plant

Mercedes-Benz breaks ground in Vance at its new state-of-the-art electric battery plant. The plant has brought over $1 billion in foreign direct investment to the state.

2019

Alabama Legislature passes the Alabama Incentives Modernization Act

Alabama Legislature passes the Alabama Incentives Modernization Act

Alabama Legislature passes the Alabama Incentives Modernization Act (AIM Act), designed to spur job growth and incentivize new technology companies to plant roots and grow in Alabama.

2020

University of Alabama School of Medicine joins the fight against COVID-19

University of Alabama School of Medicine joins the fight against COVID-19

UAB School of Medicine assumes pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19, working rapidly to publish crucial research and conduct clinical trials.

2020

Governor Ivey announces creation of Alabama Innovation Commission

Governor Ivey announces creation of Alabama Innovation Commission

Governor Ivey announces creation of Alabama Innovation Commission, the state’s first commission to focus on entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation.

2020

Apple partners with Birmingham-based “Education Farm” to offer innovative education solutions

Apple partners with Birmingham-based “Education Farm” to offer innovative education solutions

Focused on offering innovative education solutions to shape the future of education and workforce development, Education Farm (Ed Farm) is the first education program of its kind financially backed and promoted by Apple.

2021

U.S. Air Force selects Huntsville as U.S. Space Command headquarter location

U.S. Air Force selects Huntsville as U.S. Space Command headquarter location

Huntsville is selected as the headquarter location for U.S. Space Command, citing the city’s proximity to military bases with space assets, high security and communications capabilities. The new site will bring an estimated 1,600 new jobs to the area.

2021

Two key pieces of innovation legislation passed during the 2021 state legislative session

Two key pieces of innovation legislation passed during the 2021 state legislative session

Governor Kay Ivey signed House Bill 540 and House Bill 609 into law, establishing the Alabama Innovation Corporation and creating a state matching grant program for small businesses.

2021

Innovate Alabama

Alabama Innovation Commission delivered report to Governor Ivey

The report outlines key findings on how to continue to grow Alabama’s innovation economy and tech-related industries. It also highlights policy recommendations to shape the future of entrepreneurship in Alabama.