The University of Alabama
Coalition Lead Applicant: The University of Alabama
Project Title: Driving Regional Innovation through Vehicle Electrification (DRIVE): Creating the Future of Education and Work through a Partnership Between the Alabama Black Belt and a Regional Innovation District
Region (applicant-defined): 24 counties in Western Alabama
Cluster Sector(s): Advanced Manufacturing
The coalition, led by the University of Alabama, aims to combine education, investment, and industry to develop the automotive cluster in the wider West Alabama region through the “Drive Regional Innovation through Vehicle Electrification (DRIVE)” cluster. Western Alabama is a historically distressed region but the coalition envisions a strategy to improve economic opportunity through vehicle electrification, leveraging its existing automotive industry. If provided an implementation grant, the coalition plans to develop eight projects related to innovation and R&D, company creation and recruitment, talent development, and community development and sustainability. This project seeks to grow the automotive sector and increase labor participation rates in the wider West Alabama region.