Tech Transfer Grants Spur Research Innovation


BATON ROUGE – Organic compounds that naturally emit blue light that can be used in LED lighting and a miniature self-powered light that can help the aquaculture industry are just two of the 14 entrepreneurial research projects recently awarded a unique technology transfer grant from the Leverage Innovation for Technology Transfer, or LIFT2, fund.

LSU Boyd Professor and Philip W. West Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry Isiah Warner and postdoctoral researcher Girija Sahasrabudhe received the tech transfer grant to support their on-going research on the Group of Uniform Materials Based on Organic Salts, or GUMBOS, and its practical applications. Their research includes developing organic compounds that emit blue light that could be used for LED lighting and energy.

“The LIFT2 grant will facilitate the commercialization of simple and efficient OLED designs developed at LSU,” Sahasrabudhe said.

Louisiana Sea Grant Research Professor and LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources adjunct faculty Teresa Gutierrez-Wing is a member of the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources research team. She and LSU Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Jin-Woo Choi have been collaborating for more than three years on ways to increase the production of algae used for pigments, health supplements and fish food. With the grant, they plan to miniaturize a light-emitting, energy harvesting device powered by the movement of water, which can increase the yield and reduce the cost of cultured algae.

“The LIFT2 grant is the perfect vehicle for us to bring our invention to market,” Gutierrez-Wing said.

A total of $519,935 was given in this fifth round of grants for proof-of-concept projects currently led by LSU research faculty.

The first round of LIFT2 grants were awarded in 2014. Over the past five years, the number of invention disclosures at LSU has grown by 56 percent. More than $2.6 million has been granted to 72 projects through the program.

The LSU Board of Supervisors created the LIFT2 program to “Leverage Innovation for Technology Transfer” across all of LSU’s campuses. Innovations include creative and artistic works as well as devices, drugs, software and other more traditional inventions; thus, personnel from all disciplines on all LSU campuses are strongly encouraged to consider an application to further develop an invention which has been previously disclosed to their campus technology transfer office.

The LSU LIFT2 Fund provides support to help transfer LSU technologies and innovations to the market – support that can be difficult to come by through traditional means. Providing a bridge over the critical gap between basic research and commercialization, the LSU LIFT2 Fund awards 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 LIFT2 program has been very successful in helping move a wide range of innovations forward,” said Arthur R. Cooper, CEO of the LSU Research & Technology Foundation, which administers the LIFT2 grant application process. “In this fifth round, we continue to see unique technologies and concepts disclosed.”

By permanently securing a portion of licensing income for the LSU LIFT2 Fund, LSU has ensured continual reinvestment in new innovation opportunities and affirmed its commitment to advancing discoveries for public benefit. Commercialization of academic innovations through technology transfer further enhances multiple aspects of LSU’s mission and creates new economic opportunities in Louisiana and around the world.

The 2016 LIFT2 fund supports the following new technologies:
  • An on-line Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing, or PAUT, system for manufacturing and In-Service Non-Destructive Testing, or NDT, inspection by T. Warren Liao, Muhammad Wahab, LSU Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Ayman Okeil, LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering   
  • Communication recognition framework and data analytics solutions using construction field communication transmitted on a two-way radio network by Yongcheol Lee, LSU Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management
  • Second-generation diagnostics for infant disease by Sunyoung Kim, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans           
  • Generation of non-virally immortalized human female reproductive tract epithelial cell lines by Ashok Aiyar and Alison Quayle, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans         
  • Development of a live test for chronic wasting disease in ruminants by Frank Bastian, LSU AgCenter
  • Targeted oncolytic virus for neuroendocrine tumor therapy and diagnostics by Michael S. Lan, LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans
  • Self-powered unattached lights for photosynthetic cultures by Jin-Woo Choi, LSU Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Maria Teresa Gutierrez-Wing, Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources
  • Development of an innovative drilling fluid additive and its associated filtration control technology for subsurface temperature management by Yuanhang Chen, LSU Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering
  • Endorectal digital prostate tomosynthesis for high resolution 3D prostate cancer screening and diagnosis by Guang Jia, Joseph Steiner and Kenneth “Kip” Matthews, LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Pseudorabies virus vectored trivalent subunit vaccine against classical swine fever virus and porcine circovirus 2b of pigs by Shafiqul Chowdhury, LSU Pathobiological Sciences
  • Hydraulic driven cell stretch apparatus by Kevin McCarthy, LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport
  • Developing real-time CO2 gas flux measuring chamber in the soil system by Changyoon Jeong, LSU AgCenter
  • Development of easy-to-read time-temperature indicator for food and healthcare product packaging, storage and transportation by Donghui Zhang, LSU Department of Chemistry       
  • Group of Uniform Materials Based on Organic Salts, or GUMBOS-based compounds for highly efficient Organic-based Blue Light Emitting Diodes, or OLEDs, by Isiah Warner and Girija Sahasrabudhe, LSU Department of Chemistry


Additional Links:
LSU Research & Technology Foundation:

LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization:



LSU has a video uplink studio with live broadcast capabilities. Contact us to set up an interview.






Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations