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Innovative Alabama: A Report by the Hoover Institution

via Analysis
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Alabama’s leaders recognize that the state holds unlocked potential to grow and spread innovative industries across the state. Governor Kay Ivey convened the Alabama Innovation Commission to stimulate economic growth with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. The commission has made progress toward that goal with the signing of the Alabama Innovation Corporation into state law and the establishment of a federal grant–matching program for small businesses. These measures constitute an important step in creating the legal and financial infrastructure necessary to support an innovation ecosystem within Alabama.

Economics Abstract

Alabama’s Assets Can Help Position State Well For Innovation Economy

featuring Stephen Haber, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Whalen, Hoover Institutionvia Alabama Newscenter
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Stephen Haber was hiking the trails of DeSoto State Park in northeast Alabama and got himself good and lost. He continued to wander, fully unprepared for what he was about to encounter.

In the News

These New Laws Will Help Accelerate Growth Of Alabama’s Innovation Economy

mentioning Hoover Institutionvia Alabama Newscenter
Monday, August 2, 2021

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey hosted a commemorative bill signing ceremony July 29 for House Bill 540 and House Bill 609, two key pieces of innovation legislation passed during the 2021 state legislative session. These bills, recommended by the Alabama Innovation Commission, will drive inclusive innovation and shape the future of entrepreneurship in the state.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Sweet Home Alabama

interview with Stephen Haber, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The building blocks for a futuristic American state.

In the News

Two Bills Signed Into Law To Advance Innovation, 21st Century Economy In Alabama

mentioning Condoleezza Rice, Hoover Institutionvia Yellowhammer News
Thursday, May 20, 2021

Governor Kay Ivey this week signed into law two bills passed by the Alabama Legislature designed to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the state while attracting and retaining talented workers for a 21st century economy.

Stanford Oval
In the News

Eight Auburn Students Selected To Study Alabama Matters With Fellows From Stanford University’s Hoover Institution

mentioning Joshua D. Rauh, Hoover Institutionvia Auburn University
Monday, April 26, 2021

Eight Auburn University students are the first from the Plains to partner with fellows at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in conducting research and initiatives for the Alabama Innovation Commission.


Meet The Hoover Institution Experts Partnering With Innovate Alabama

mentioning Stephen Haber, Eric Hanushek, Joshua D. Rauh, Margaret (Macke) Raymondvia Alabama Newscenter
Monday, February 8, 2021

Six experts from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution are partnering with Innovate Alabama to develop policy recommendations that will grow Alabama’s economy, particularly in technology.

In the News

Alabama Innovation Commission To Partner With The Hoover Institution

featuring Condoleezza Rice, Hoover Institutionvia Biz Journals
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

State innovation commission has partnered with The Hoover Institution.


Alabama Innovation Commission Announces Partnership With Stanford’s Hoover Institution

featuring Hoover Institution, Condoleezza Ricevia Black Press USA
Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Innovation Commission’s collaboration with the Silicon Valley-based Hoover Institution will address the starting, recruitment and retention of companies and jobs, the development of innovation hubs and the commercialization of startups.

Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Research Fellow
Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow in Education
Distinguished Research Fellow
Senior Fellow

Hoover Institution Releases Report On Making Alabama A National Hub For Innovation

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution has submitted a report to the Alabama Innovation Commission (AIC), providing recommendations on how the state can become a national leader in fostering scientific and technological innovation.

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Q&A: Stephen Haber On Innovation In Alabama

Thursday, September 23, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

In this interview, Senior Fellow Stephen Haber discusses the Hoover Institution’s partnership with the Alabama Innovation Commission (AIC) to develop solutions on how the state can best recruit companies, attract and retain highly skilled labor, finance start-ups, and establish hubs for scientific and technological innovation. Haber also describes what he believes the role of government should be in bringing about innovation, and details his particular work in researching the expansion of Alabama’s recreational sites, which he argues are a key factor in spurring economic development.


In July 2020, Alabama governor Kay Ivey established the Alabama Innovation Commission (AIC), aimed at building the state’s competitiveness in the technology sector, inspiring entrepreneurship, and educating a 21st century work force. The AIC serves as a platform for innovators to engage policymakers, exchange ideas, and identify policies that promote innovation in the state.

Governor Ivey asked Hoover Institution director Condoleezza Rice, a member of the AIC Advisory Council, for the Hoover Institution to lend its expertise on state and local politics to the initiative. Hoover's involvement in the project consists of two components, led by senior fellows Stephen Haber and Joshua Rauh. Haber led a team of Hoover fellows in conducting data-driven research to assess Alabama's educational, legal, financial, governance, and physical infrastructure—all of which are necessary components to transform the state into an innovation hub. Rauh led Hoover's first Policy Lab, a collaboration between the Hoover Institution, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Stanford Law School, and several of Alabama’s leading universities. The Policy Lab constitutes a new model for engaging students in public policy research: teams of Stanford MBA students and undergraduates from Alabama's universities built substantive knowledge and created data sets necessary for the Hoover fellows to write their report to the AIC.

The research areas featured in the Hoover Institution report to the AIC include:

  • The Role of Alabama Universities in Fostering Innovation and Growth
  • Alabama’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure
  • Supporting Advanced Manufacturing in Alabama
  • Tax Policy, Subsidies, and Innovative Business Investment in Alabama: Past and Prospect
  • Establishing the Foundation for Economic Growth: The Alabama Education Laboratory
  • Alabama Broadband for Education

The focus on state and local issues represents a pivot from Hoover's traditional focus on policy making at the federal level. As such, it presents a unique opportunity. One-size-fits-all solutions tend not to work in a nation as diverse as the United States. Hoover’s engagement at the state and local level has increased its potential to impact policy making in a meaningful way, thereby improving the lives of Americans.