Since its founding seven years ago, Huntsville leaders have hoped the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology would become as important as aerospace and defense as foundations of North Alabama’s economy, and they may look back at 2015 as a pivotal year in realizing that hope.

Institute founders use words like “swirling” and “biggest yet” to describe 2015, and they aren’t alone in seeing big changes. Allison Proffitt, editorial director of Healthtech Publishing, which covers the industry in journals including Biotech-It World, said this month that now is “a very promising time” for a center already “well-respected” and rising. HudsonAlpha is clearly willing “to invest in establishing itself nationally and beyond,” Proffitt said.

“It was the biggest (year), no doubt about it,” co-founder Jim Hudson said in December. “Things are really going.”

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