Innovation Birmingham Week set for Aug. 18-25

The 2017 Innovation Week Birmingham is set for Aug. 18 through Aug. 25 to highlight exciting new technologies and the inventors, investors, entrepreneurs and supporters that drive innovation in the Magic City.

Local groups that support Birmingham’s innovation ecosystem are encouraged to hold events during the week. Groups can submit appropriate events at www.InnovationWeekBirmingham.com to be listed among the 2017 Innovation Week Birmingham event roster. The site will continuously be updated with events until the end of Innovation Week.

“Innovation Week is important in our region as it celebrates the accomplishments of all our innovators and inspires all in our region to innovate,” said Arthur Tipton, president and CEO of Southern Research, which is a partner in the week.

“I am fortunate to be part of an organization where innovation has been at our core for 75 years. But innovation is not only the purview of scientists and engineers such as those at Southern Research. Innovation is part of every new startup, every improvement in a manufacturing process, or the vision of a group of leaders who saw the possibility of National Monument designation for the Birmingham Civil Rights district,” Tipton said.

On tap so far for 2017 Innovation Week:

  • A solar eclipse party hosted by Southern Research, which will also host a panel on solar energy technology and a Business@Sunset networking reception at Quinlan Castle
  • A panel on virtual reality hosted by the Sidewalk Film Festival
  • EDPA’s Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, with Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Thomas L. Friedman, as the keynote speaker
  • A hackathon hosted by Women Who Code Birmingham

“Innovation Week provides a unique convergence of information technology, cyber-security, digital entertainment, biotechnology and international trade that cuts across Birmingham’s public and private sectors,” said Jon Nugent, vice president of innovation and technology at the Birmingham Business Alliance.

“The breadth and scale of innovation in Birmingham is a differentiating factor for our region. It fuels new products, services and processes, ultimately creating new jobs and improving the standard of living for residents in and around the city. Birmingham is a city of innovators, entrepreneurs, artisans, craftspeople, tradespeople and businesspeople, all of whom share in growing our innovation community and make Birmingham a great place to launch new ventures,” Nugent said.

The week will kick off with a ribbon cutting at Innovation Depot on Aug. 18 with regional business leaders and elected officials, followed by a Block Party in downtown Birmingham between The Pizitz and the McWane Science Center.

The fourth-annual Innovation Week Birmingham is presented by PNC Bank and sponsored by America’s First Federal Credit Union, Protective Life Corp. and Spectrum Enterprise. In previous years, Innovation Week has drawn thousands of people to events across the city, and organizing partners hope this year’s Innovation Week will expand its reach further.

Innovation Week Birmingham is a partnership between Birmingham Business Alliance, Birmingham Venture Club, City of Birmingham, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Innovation Depot, REV Birmingham, Southern Research, TechBirmingham and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.