Cummings Research Park: A Critical Mass of High Technology Industries
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In 1962, Cummings Research Park, located west of downtown Huntsville, Alabama, was formed as a 150-acre joint development of the University of Alabama in Huntsville Foundation and Milton K. Cummings, then-president of Brown Engineering Company (now known as Teledyne Brown Engineering). Today, it houses the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a high-tech incubator known as BizTech, and the Alabama Supercomputer Center, as well as major R&D operations for ADTRAN, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, to name a few. As it became evident that Cummings Research Park provided a comparative location advantage to large and small high tech enterprises alike, the City of Huntsville and the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County realized the greater economic development benefits the park could provide for the Huntsville area. They formed a partnership to develop, manage, and market the park. Due to their efforts, as well as the regional R&D infrastructure, Cummings Research Park has emerged as a leading center for technology development, entrepreneurial innovation, and intellectual capital. The park houses R&D operations for 212 high technology companies that perform research in 33 different fields and employ approximately 22,000 workers.