Higher Education Group Honors Maas for Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship

June 14, 2024

Andy Maas

Andy J. Maas,LSU associate vice president for research, Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development

Andrew J. Maas, Louisiana State University’s associate vice president for Research, Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development, has been awarded the Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Award at the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education 2024.

This significant award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary achievements in entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education. The Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education is one of the world’s top conferences on innovation strategies in higher education.

Maas’s contributions include managing Louisiana’s successful application for the National Science Foundation’s largest and most competitive grant, $160 million over 10 years through its Engines program. LSU’s winning team, Future Use of Energy in Louisiana, or FUEL, involves more than 50 public and private organizations to help Louisiana lead the global energy transition toward more efficient carbon management and new ways to produce and use energy. The team’s goals include developing an inclusive, dynamic workforce and decarbonization technologies.

“Andy’s work helped draw attention to LSU as one of the nation’s premier research universities,” LSU President William F. Tate IV said. “The FUEL team is leveraging the intellectual capital of the state’s best and brightest to improve the lives of Louisiana’s residents and the world.”

At LSU, Maas oversees the Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development, which he helped overhaul and establish into a single office in 2022. The office is responsible for the LSU Innovation Park, LSU Small Business Development Center, LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, the LSU NSF I-Corps Programs, and several other programs and initiatives that focus on establishing, developing, and growing technology-based startups. The LSU Innovation Park currently has around 40 tenants and the LSU Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization is led by technology transfer veteran Spencer Rogers.

Maas has had a significant impact on the LSU and Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Ecosystems as he was responsible for establishing LSU first as an NSF I-Corps Site  and then as part of an eight-university regional hub. Maas and the LSU team work tirelessly to convince LSU faculty members to view their discoveries as potential commercial products, opportunities, and economic drivers.

“Andy’s efforts have helped set LSU apart as a leader in research and innovation,” said Robert Twilley, LSU vice president of research and economic development. “The increasing number of patents awarded to our faculty are bringing useful solutions to the world while helping to draw talented faculty and students to LSU—leaders who want to be at a university that so strongly supports discovery.”

“I would be remiss to not recognize the great support that LSU provides to our team of amazing people that strive every day to help our faculty move their discoveries out of the university to improve the lives of Louisiana residents and people throughout the world. This is truly a team effort.” Maas said.

About the Deshpande Symposium

Cofounded by the Deshpande Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2012, the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education brings together academics, policy planners, and practitioners to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities. This year marks the second year VentureWell has led the programmatic vision and operational management of the symposium. Read more about the symposium and the awards.

About LSU Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development

LSU Innovation unites the university’s innovation and commercialization resources under one office, maximizing LSU's impact on the intellectual, economic, and social development of Louisiana and beyond. LSU Innovation focuses on establishing, developing, and growing technology-based startup companies. LSU Innovation oversees LSU Innovation Park, a 200-acre business incubator that fosters early-stage tech companies, and the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, which streamlines the process of evaluating, protecting, and licensing intellectual property created by LSU researchers. LSU Innovation serves as the host organization for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network which oversees all SBDC services across the state as well as the LSU SBDC, which provides free consulting services to small businesses across the state. LSU Innovation helps Louisiana technology companies apply for seed funding through the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs. LSU Innovation educates faculty, students, and the community on entrepreneurial principles through the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program which trains innovators to consider the market opportunities for pressing scientific questions, leading to increased funding state and federal grant programs as well as potential industry partners and licensees.