BATON ROUGE – The National Science Foundation, or NSF, has selected LSU as one of 51 U.S. academic institutions it will support to foster innovation and research that can be brought to the marketplace. As an NSF Innovation Corps Site, or I-Corps Site, LSU faculty, students and community-based business industry partners will receive funding and entrepreneurship training. LSU’s NSF I-Corps Site award is $100,000 per year for three years.
“The support from NSF builds upon the existing innovation and research commercialization in the region while stimulating new opportunities for university-based research to become commercially viable technologies,” said Andrew Maas, director of the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, who will oversee LSU’s I-Corps Site program.
The LSU I-Corps Site will provide six to eight weeks of training for teams comprised of an academic lead, an entrepreneurial lead and an external mentor. Upon completion of the training, teams will gain access to $2,000 to $3,000 I-Corps Site grants to purchase materials to fabricate prototypes, travel to consult with potential customers or experts, obtain additional training in entrepreneurial immersion or other resources needed to advance their technology for commercial application. The ultimate goal of the LSU I-Corps Site program is to strengthen the pipeline of faculty, students and community members who can feed into the Louisiana Business & Technology Center, or LBTC, and be more competitive for LSU Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer, or LIFT2, grants; the NSF I-Corps Teams program, which is a $50,000 grant opportunity; and national Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, agency programs.
“I-Corps resources open the door to larger federal grant programs, such as the SBIR program, for researchers and entrepreneurs in the Baton Rouge area,” Maas said.
The LSU I-Corps Site will be supported in the later stages by the LBTC, which houses a full business incubator as well as a student incubator with co-working space. LBTC has played a leading role in many LSU technology-based start-up companies and licenses.
The LBTC will continue to accelerate the pace of commercialization of LSU technologies in the community by providing an enhanced focus on innovation, technology incubation, entrepreneurship and job creation.
“Our persistent work bridging the academic and business community over several years has built the LBTC’s comprehensive rolodex of industrial and business community partners,” said Charlie D’Agostino, LBTC executive director.
If you are interested in participating in the LSU I-Corps Site program as a mentor, please visit http://www.lsu.edu/innovation/ICorps/mentorapplication.php and complete the survey to become part of the local mentor network.
LSU I-Corps Site http://www.lsu.edu/innovation/ICorps/
LSU I-Corps Site Mentor Application http://www.lsu.edu/innovation/ICorps/mentorapplication.php
Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations