From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Tech's Innovation Enterprise is making a difference for Louisiana

Apr 14, 2015 | Guest Feature

Innovation Enterprise at LaTech logoDr. Davy Norris is Chief Innovation Officer for Louisiana Tech and he has played a pivotal role in Tech’s successes in innovation and entrepreneurship. Tech has received considerable state-wide and national recognition as an innovation leader and model for how a university should use its assets to support innovation. Davy and his team have won over $10M in highly competitive federal grants and have raised similar levels of private funding to support our innovation and entrepreneurship programs. These successes could not happen without core investments by the University – investments that are being threatened by diminishing state support. I invited Davy to provide his perspectives on the important role that Tech plays in advancing innovation in the region and state. Here is Davy’s message in his own words. (Click on images for more info.)
Evan Puckett

Business student Evan Puckett uses maker-space & entrepreneurship support to help with his e-business

For any region or state that is serious about being competitive in the global economy of the 21st century, wise investments that support an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship are critical. The most successful regions of the country in building these types of innovation ecosystems—and the high skilled workforce to support it—have prospered greatly over the last several decades and will continue to do so. At the core of any of these successful regional ecosystems is a well-funded and broadly supported university with a thriving environment of collaborative discovery, creativity, and innovation.  
New Ventures

Student winners of New Ventures competition

Those universities are also strategically connected to the key stakeholders in the surrounding region through partnerships that catalyze innovation and lead to new, high quality economic growth. Along the I-20 corridor, Louisiana Tech University has taken on a focused and strategic mission to be a leader in building an innovation ecosystem that has the potential to lead a new era of economic prosperity for our region. At Tech, we call this our Innovation Enterprise and it is a primary element of our university mission along with education and research.  

Dr. Erez Allouche & team have had several innovations from his R&D commercialized that could have major economic impacts on Louisiana

Through strategic investments and partnerships, Louisiana Tech has led the development of the vital components of the innovation ecosystem in our region including: (1) thriving business incubators and incubation and acceleration programs for emerging entrepreneurs who will drive our future economic prosperity; (2) leading edge proof of concept and prototyping centers for development of new technologies and new products that can form the basis for new and expanded business ventures, revitalize declining or stagnant sectors, and even catalyze the formation of entire new industries; (3) nationally recognized innovation and entrepreneurship programs that engage not only students and faculty, but community partners, business leaders, investors, and technology development experts in a culture of entrepreneurship around new technology, new products, and new business startups; and (4) our new Enterprise Campus—a master-planned research park with leading-edge infrastructure, facilities, and staff to support the recruitment, retention, and expansion of high-growth, technology-based businesses through a wide range of university partnerships in technology and workforce development.
CSC Workshop

CSC found Tech’s commitment to innovation to be an important factor in their decision to locate in Bossier City

The progress of this Innovation Enterprise has been rapid over the last several years. Since 2006, Louisiana Tech has ranked among the top universities in the nation in spinning out new technologies and new startup companies. Our innovation and entrepreneurship programs have supported the efforts of over 150 local entrepreneurs through the early stages of their ventures. Over 40 new technology-based businesses have emerged from these efforts in north Louisiana since 2006. These companies have spanned a wide range of sectors including software development, biotechnology, alternative fuels, advanced building materials, digital media, and consumer products. Some of these new ventures have the potential to be the new regional employment drivers for north Louisiana.
Tech Pointe night

Tech Pointe is home to several high-tech companies employing over 100 people

Our Enterprise Campus—only three years old—is home to innovative partner companies such as Computer Sciences Corporation, Radiance Technologies, The Fenway Group, Blue Arx, 5 Dynamics, and GreenQube, among others. A recent study by Competitive Strategies Group of Atlanta rated Lincoln Parish as the only parish in Louisiana to rank high on their Innovation Index. That rating was due in large part to the efforts of Louisiana Tech. The University’s goal is for all of the I-20 corridor to rank highly in innovation and our investments are aligned with that goal. The growth and success to date of this Innovation Enterprise and our regional innovation ecosystem has resulted from strategic and sustained investment and effort. But these gains and the promise of a prosperous future that they offer for our region are vulnerable in the current climate of funding for higher education; and that prosperous future can easily evaporate if the university can’t afford to continue to lead in collaboration with our many regional partners. Tech Pointe Tenant Companies: fenway_logo    gc-logo-sm radHeader bluearx-logo-200    5 Dynamics