The knowledge-based industry sector is a growing and diverse field, with a variety of definitions and identifying factors. Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority has defined knowledge-based as:
“Organizations that mainly deal with information/R&D/specialty services or developing information technology. Entities in which the creation and use of knowledge is the dominant activity, where the workers are largely degree-holding and have specialized skills or offer specialized services, and where intellectual property is the primary asset held. Non-manufacturing industries with a focus on innovation and development.”
This emerging and developing industry impacts many manufacturing sectors and, therefore, directly relates to TCIDA activities with manufacturing investments.
Such industries/activities might include:
- accounting/medical/computer services;
- defense and security;
- digital media;
- life sciences (including medical technologies and health);
- software development;
- telecommunications; and
- wireless development.
As home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa represents a prime environment for the location of knowledge-based industries given the resources and partnerships that are readily available. The University of Alabama is a research-based facility of higher learning and has a long-standing history of business partnerships. Through innovation, mentoring and entrepreneurship, the University has established numerous resources and programs that serve to enhance the advancement and expertise of high technology development.
Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs identifies and facilitates value-added innovation and fosters entrepreneurships leading to commercialization of intellectual property.
Bama Technology Incubator nurtures high-growth, high-tech businesses into profitable industry leaders.
Office for Technology Transfer is responsible for commercializing the innovations generated by UA faculty, staff and students, either through licenses to industry partners or via the formation of spin-off enterprises based on UA technologies.