01/31/2014 03:12 PM
BATON ROUGE – In addition to approving changes to its regulations governing technology
transfer and commercialization at LSU, the LSU Board of Supervisors today approved
the creation of the LSU LIFT Fund – Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer
– and launched it with $2 million in restricted funds generated by previously-licensed
“This is exactly the kind of resource we need to provide our faculty with momentum
to more effectively transfer innovation out of the lab and into the market,” said
LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “The LSU LIFT Fund will now support
our faculty’s most promising inventions in that difficult-to-fund phase between basic
research and commercialization.”
The LSU LIFT Fund will provide small grants to faculty on a competitive basis, twice
a year, in amounts up to $50,000, to validate the market potential of their inventions;
the first LIFT grants are expected to be awarded by July 1 of this year. This type
of funding is typically very difficult to secure, creating a gap between basic research
support and marketable products. The Board also approved a recommendation to permanently
sustain the LSU LIFT Fund by allocating 5 percent of the university’s future intellectual
property licensing income directly to the new fund.
“Our committee is proud to have served our university in this capacity, and we are
thrilled that the Board has created the LSU LIFT Fund with such a significant balance,”
said Arthur Cooper, chair of the LSU President’s Committee on Technology Transfer,
or PCTT, and CEO of the LSU System Research & Technology Foundation. “Launching the
LSU LIFT Fund this way sends a strong message to our faculty and our external partners
that LSU is serious about innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The Board also received the report of the PCTT, which outlined a new approach to technology
transfer at LSU in partnership with the LSU System Research & Technology Foundation,
or RTF. The RTF will provide centralized administrative support functions to each
of the campuses, enhancing productivity while allowing each to manage its own operations.
The budget for this partnership is expected to replace what the campuses currently
spend on external legal fees each year, and will be shared according to a formula
based upon each campus’ relative proportion of LSU’s total annual research expenditures.
"This new policy and LIFT Fund should greatly increase the number of inventions moving
from the laboratory to the marketplace and create new opportunities for LSU students
to find great jobs in Louisiana once they graduate," said Stephen Waguespack, president
of LABI. "We support LSU in making this and other changes that will have a major impact
on our state's workforce and innovation sectors."
“This new, collaborative approach to commercialization at LSU will advance innovation
while being more responsive to the needs of both faculty and business,” said J. Stephen
Perry, member of the LSU Board of Supervisors and chair of its Research & Economic
Development Committee. “The LSU LIFT Fund will provide our excellent faculty with
a new means of advancing their innovative research towards the market and will support
LSU’s critical role in building an innovation economy across Louisiana. I am thrilled
that we can kick-start this initiative by launching the LIFT Fund with such a significant
The Board’s Research & Economic Development Committee today recommended these new
programs to the full board.
"Biomedical innovation – a key driver of economic development - will be greatly improved
by the change in the tech transfer approach and new LIFT Fund," said Michael Hecht,
president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Considering the prospect for biomedical
research in New Orleans, this has real potential to help catalyze research, commercialization
and new company formation."
The full report of the technology transfer recommendations provided by the PCTT is
available at http://www.lsusystem.edu/docs/agenda/2014/20140131TechnlogyTransferReport.pdf.
“This streamlined approach to commercialization and technology transfer indicates an acceleration of LSU’s already considerable commitment to licensing intellectual property, and the LIFT fund provides the support necessary to sustain this effort,” said Joseph Lovett, managing director of Louisiana Fund I. “This is an exciting moment for Louisiana’s business community, and we look forward to working even more closely with LSU in the future.”
Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014