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Alabama A&M admitted to Innovate Alabama network

NORMAL — An innovative project that could eliminate the need for roadway signs helped Alabama A&M capture a position with the Innovate Alabama Network.

Innovate Alabama awarded $125,000 to Alabama A&M to expand diversity of the innovation ecosystem partners throughout the state.

AAMU is among the inaugural designees of the network, a comprehensive resource to connect communities, nonprofits and higher education institutions across Alabama fostering innovation in their local footprint. Fifty-one designees in 17 Alabama counties make up the group, receiving $9.3 million in supporting funds from Innovate Alabama.

AAMU researchers Dr. Raziq Yaqub, associate professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Dr. Kaveh Heidary, professor and chairman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Dr. Majed El-Dweik, vice president, Division of Research and Economic Development, submitted the research proposal to Innovate Alabama and are co-PIs.

“Our research project centers around ‘Highway Signs Technology based on Augmented Reality’ (Hi-STAR), which aims to eliminate the need for physical signs on roadways,” said Yaqub.

“This innovation promises not only economic benefits for the Department of Transportation, but also has applications for specific users such as the military, which often navigates underdeveloped or unspecified roads,” said Heidary.

“The Innovate Alabama Network is a major step forward to growing the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Alabama,” said Innovate Alabama CEO Cynthia Crutchfield. “By providing funding and resources to our local communities, nonprofits and higher education institutions, we are developing a statewide network for innovation programming and catalyzing entrepreneurship in all of our communities, both rural and urban.”

“This $125,000 grant has the potential for extensions in the coming years, providing crucial funding for innovative research and development,” said El-Dweik. “It’s also a commitment to fostering a shared passion for innovation and research, driving AAMU to new heights of creativity and progress.”

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