U.S. Department of Commerce, LED Invests $1.6 Million to Support Disaster Resiliency and Business Growth at LSU Innovation Park
BATON ROUGE – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Louisiana Economic Development is awarding a $1.6 million grant to build new roadway infrastructure for LSU Innovation Park — the university research park that supports research and commercialization of technologies developed by LSU and the state’s industrial base. The roadway project will provide “front door” access to LSU’s Innovation Park, which currently has 44 businesses that employ 284 people.
About 150 additional acres will be developed to accommodate up to 75 new companies. The expansion is expected to create 2,100 jobs and spur $80 million in private investment. Additionally, the National Guard will use this road to access their training and disaster recovery center, which will enhance disaster resiliency, mobility and cyber security.
“This achievement accelerates the evolution of a lonely research outpost to an economic development hub that is home to one of the nation’s leading business incubators and to some of the most advanced cyber security and software development anywhere,” said Congressman Garret Graves. “The new access point will open the park to greater innovation, research, academic excellence and economic development, the benefits of which will extend to the nearby National Guard, Emerge Center and Gardere community.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Capital Region Planning Commission, or CRPC. The Economic Development Administration, or EDA, funds CRPC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
“This infrastructure grant will support LSU’s world-class Innovation Park, bringing new ideas and new jobs to Louisiana. I’m so glad we were successful in securing these funds and can’t wait to see the results of what they will help accomplish,” said Senator Bill Cassidy.
The companies recruited or developed will be focused on the strengths of the industrial and business partners in the region as well as LSU. Those strengths include energy, advanced materials, engineering, cyber security, geographic information systems, environmental sciences and compression technology.
“As Louisiana’s flagship university, LSU consistently attracts top talent who are committed to training and educating our innovative workforce. With support from the EDA, Congressman Graves, Senator Cassidy and LED, we are able to continue to grow to meet the demands of industry today and help to build the economies of tomorrow,” said LSU President F. King Alexander.
Companies at the LSU Innovation Park have successfully competed for and won Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, grants from the Department of Defense, NASA, USDA, NSF and other federal research agencies. Since the park started the SBIR matching grant program in Louisiana, Louisiana companies have won nearly $90 million in research grants.
“LSU is strategically positioned to succeed in the economic development arena by building upon our successful partnerships with state and federal agencies, which help our researchers commercialize their ideas through the Innovation Park,” said K.T. Valsaraj, LSU vice president for research and economic development.
University research parks in North America are proven economic development engines that comprise 47,000 acres, 124 million square feet of buildings, 300,000 workers and generate 2.57 additional jobs in the community, according to a Battelle Study.
“The investments made by the EDA and LED in the LSU Innovation Park are true testaments to the synergy of innovation that’s occurring at our research park. We appreciate their commitment to our work to grow the region’s economy,” said Charlie D’Agostino, executive director of LSU Innovation Park and the Louisiana Business & Technology Center.
The matching funding for the U.S. Department of Commerce EDA grant of $1.1 million was provided by Louisiana Economic Development in the amount of $500,000. The $1.6 million project will convert the raw land into a thriving economic development site that is a Certified Research Park ready for development.
Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations