LSU to Lead Innovation in Louisiana for New Regional Southwest Hub

September 08, 2022

$15M National Science Foundation award will boost technology commercialization and entrepreneurial training across four states

BATON ROUGE — LSU is one of the lead organizations for a new, National Science Foundation-funded regional hub that will help propel more research out of the lab and into the real world.

The $15 million Innovation Corps Hub: Southwest region is part of the operational backbone of the National Innovation Network — universities, NSF-funded researchers, established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities and federal agencies that help researchers take their discoveries from the idea stage to the marketplace.

“I-Corps teaches faculty members how to identify market needs for their research through customer discovery and modify their research to meet those needs,” said Andrew Maas, associate vice president for research, LSU Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development. “It’s a different way of thinking about discovery, but it’s an important skill that faculty members can pass along to their students.”

LSU will receive $1.75 million of the total grant and use part of the money to manage communications for the four-state hub. LSU will hire two people, one to support communications for the entire hub and another who will focus on I-Corps training throughout Louisiana. The NSF selected LSU as an I-Corps site in 2016. Becoming part of a regional hub is the logical next step and will allow LSU to accelerate the commercialization of cutting-edge scientific and engineering discoveries.

“The NSF award supports transforming research by LSU faculty members into a business model that generates economic growth in the form of talent, technologies, new products, services, new startups and jobs,” said William F. Tate IV, LSU President. “The I-Corps model of educating faculty, students and the community on entrepreneurial principles aligns with and supports our Scholarship First Agenda.”

The other leading members of the Southwest Hub are the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, New Mexico State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Rice University.

The hubs:

  • Create and implement tools, resources and training activities that enhance the nation’s innovation capacity.
  • Identify, develop and support promising research that can generate economic value.
  • Gather, analyze, evaluate and utilize the data and insights resulting from the experiences of those participating in local, regional and national I-Corps programs.
  • Provide opportunities to diverse communities of innovators.
  • Share and leverage effective innovation practices on a national scale to improve quality of life throughout the nation.

Faculty and graduate students interested in participating in I-Corps training can sign up for the next program at: The program will be delivered in collaboration with the University of Texas, Rice University and Texas A&M.


About LSU Innovation 

LSU Innovation works with the LSU research community to facilitate the evaluation, protection and licensing of intellectual property created at LSU. LSU Innovation also focuses on establishing, developing and growing technology-based startup companies. This work maximizes the university's impact on the intellectual, economic and social development of Louisiana and beyond. LSU Innovation helps LSU entrepreneurs and the community through the evaluation of their discoveries and ideas, mechanisms for protecting their innovations, marketing and industry negotiations for intellectual property and licensing and other agreements.