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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

Concept Proposal Narrative (applicant submitted) (PDF)

Project Description:
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.

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