The University of Alabama will lease space at the GulfQuest Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico effective Sept. 1.

The new UA office will serve as a nexus for research and programmatic initiatives that will benefit the region, primarily in the area of transportation, according to a statement.

“The University of Alabama has a long history in Mobile and along the Gulf Coast, including the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, John Higginbotham, UA interim vice president for research and economic development. With a large and growing number of research projects and collaborations in the area, the GulfQuest facility will give us a centrally located physical space to expand our research capacity.”

In the statement Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said he was happy to welcome UA to downtown.

“This partnership with the Alabama Transportation Institute is significant because of the incredible growth we are experiencing as a region, placing unprecedented demand on our infrastructure,” Stimpson said. “In addition, UA’s location at GulfQuest should help energize our waterfront and continue momentum downtown.”

The Alabama Transportation Institute at The University of Alabama is a planning, research and policy resource to advance a 21st century transportation system. ATI brings together nationally recognized research and development industry professionals seeking innovative solutions to the challenges of building and maintaining a transportation system that provides safety and mobility for Alabama’s citizens, while providing efficient freight movement, stimulating economic growth and conserving energy resources.

“Mobile is the center of a multimodal transportation system that includes aviation, roads and interstate highways, rail, ports, harbors and inland waterways,” said Shashi Nambisan, executive director of the Alabama Transportation Institute.

“These support significant engineering, maintenance, manufacturing and technical training activities for transportation as well as activities in the financial, tourism and service sectors,” Nambisan said.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) thanked UA for the new presence in Mobile.

“I appreciate The University of Alabama for their continued support of our region,” Byrne said. “This latest partnership will provide UA with unique capabilities related to our region’s dynamic transportation operations, including the Port of Mobile. I am confident this partnership will serve as a win-win for both The University of Alabama and all of us in Southwest Alabama.”

Speaking on behalf of the Alabama State Port Authority, director and chief executive officer Jimmy Lyons added his support for the new UA partnership.

“We are excited about the University having a presence in Mobile, and we look forward to working together to improve Alabama’s transportation infrastructure,” Lyons said.

Chris Curry, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, said he and his team are very pleased that The University of Alabama is establishing a larger footprint in the Mobile area.

“We look forward to a collaborative partnership that will explore new avenues to enhance our logistical network,” Curry said.