Alabama technology industry primed for growth

The opening of a new software development and testing facility, as well as the execution a major policy initiative is priming Alabama’s tech and science industry for growth.

Fairfax-based CGI announced today the opening of a new Center of Excellence in Troy, Alabama, a move expected to bring 300 new jobs to the state, according to the company.

Alabama Governor Bob Riley and Troy Mayor Jimmy C. Lunsford were on hand to unveil CGI’s 14th global delivery center that will be a new software development and testing facility, serving CGI’s commercial and government clients.

“Alabama is honored to welcome CGI and proud that the company has chosen our state for this new high-tech facility. The hundreds of new jobs coming here will mean more opportunities and brighter futures for so many Alabama families,” Governor Riley said in a statement.

CGI was brought to Pike County, Alabama with the help of the Pike County Economic Development Corporation, and the Governor’s economic incentives law, passed in May, to help bolster the state’s technology industry. CGI will also partner with Troy University to elevate the institution’s academic programs and high-tech course work.

“This new Center of Excellence in Pike County will allow CGI to continue to create highly-skilled, quality jobs in rural America,” Donna Morea, President of CGI US, said.

The Troy Center of Excellence is expected to begin operations in January 2010, which coincides with another Riley initiative meant to spur Alabama’s high-tech and research industries.

Earlier this week, Gov. Riley spoke to the Alabama Science and Technology Leadership Summit in Birmingham to discuss his Science and Technology Roadmap for Alabama. The first phase of the Governor’s plan was to gather experts to assess areas of opportunity for the state’s research and technology industry. The assessment identified six areas of opportunity: health care, energy, aerospace and defense, modeling and simulation applied to the automobile industry, information technology and nanotechnology.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is working with the Alabama Research Alliance and a California-based consulting firm, Collaborative Economics, to complete the roadmap, which is also due out in January 2010.

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