City of Dothan Breaks Ground on Wiregrass Innovation Center

DOTHAN (May 6, 2024) – Today, the City of Dothan broke ground on the construction of the Wiregrass Innovation Center, a $30 million facility that is part of the City Center downtown revitalization project.

“The Wiregrass Innovation Center will be a destination for innovators, a place for experiential learning and the nerve center for economic development,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “By working together, the state of Alabama, the city of Dothan, HudsonAlpha and leaders across the region have ensured innovation continues to sweep across all of Alabama. I am confident this facility will be known as one of the top AgTech Centers in the nation.”

The state of Alabama ($20 million) and the Wiregrass Foundation ($10 million) are providing the funds for the 45,000-square foot building, which will co-locate the nonprofit HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology presence in the Wiregrass with agriculture technology (agtech)  entrepreneurs and innovators in the Wiregrass area. HudsonAlpha Wiregrass will be the anchor tenant and use the facility to provide hands-on training and practical learning in science, genomics, research, technology and innovation.

Located on the George Washington Carver Research Campus in downtown Dothan, the center will be the future home to entrepreneurs, cutting-edge research, educational programming and innovative ideas. Building on George Washington Carver’s rich legacy of innovation, the Wiregrass now takes the next step to become one of the top agtech centers in the nation.

“The Wiregrass Innovation Center will be a state-of-the-art facility where research, education, and entrepreneur job growth and acceleration will all work together toward building a stronger and better Wiregrass,” City of Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba said. “We’re building a home for visionaries who will shape the future of the Wiregrass and the world. This is an incredible opportunity for Dothan and the Wiregrass as a whole. I, along with the City Commissioners, am excited to be working with local, regional, and statewide leaders to expand the area’s potential to provide high-skilled, high-wage jobs, right here in Dothan.  We are immensely grateful to Governor Ivey, the State of Alabama, and the Wiregrass Foundation for their support for this center.”

By supporting the Wiregrass Innovation Center and HudsonAlpha Wiregrass, the City of Dothan continues to increase opportunities for its citizens. Building on the agricultural strength of the region and embracing new technologies and innovations are keys for future growth in the Wiregrass.

In addition to HudsonAlpha, other entrepreneurs and startup companies are anticipating the opening of the Wiregrass Innovation Center. Among the agtech startups planning to locate in the Wiregrass Innovation Center are:

  • Veil Genomics is leveraging long-read DNA sequencing to develop better genetic testing for human health and disease, plant and animal breeding, and biodiversity
  • SetaTech, is a producer of natural biostimulant for sustainable agriculture and a graduate of the HudsonAlpha AgTech Accelerator with operations in Ozark

RDG Planning and Design and Fuqua and Partners are serving as the architects of record on the project. A general contractor has not been selected. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2025.

HudsonAlpha is a nonprofit organization located in Huntsville with the mission of using genomics to improve life through basic biological research to make important discoveries, improve human health, stimulate economic development, inspire young people to seek careers in science and teach members of the public the importance of science in their everyday lives. The Wiregrass location of HudsonAlpha was launched in collaboration with the city of Dothan in 2022.

A web camera has been installed at the site to stream live video of the project at any time by the public at https://app.oxblue.com/cameras/1a70f23b7fa17f40c7fdbc1b2b1ad23c?openlink=Dothan/innovationcenter. Find the Wiregrass Innovation Center on all social media platforms at: @wiregrassinnovationcenter on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and @WInnovationC on X (formerly Twitter).