In the 21st century, the interaction between innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, and art will be crucial to a region's ability to generate and apply new knowledge-the key to a region's economic success. Louisiana Tech University understands its relationship to the surrounding community and its responsibility to the region.
Tech has used this understanding and vision to build an innovation enterprise that is changing the landscape of northern Louisiana's economy.
Louisiana Tech is driving innovation from the campus to the workforce and to the business community of north Louisiana and beyond. With a particular strength in engineering, a multidisciplinary research environment, and sophisticated facilities to support scientific research, Tech has taken a leading role in integrating advanced technology into teaching, research and economic development efforts.
"Our innovation programs and facilities fulfill an important mission of the University to support economic development in the state and region."
Les Guice, Vice President for Research and Development, Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana Tech has developed its research programs around centers of excellence where world-class facilities support the work of entrepreneurial faculty and lead to groundbreaking innovations.
The research programs in emerging technologies through the Institute for Micromanufacturing, the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science, the Center for Applied Physics Studies, the Trenchless Technology Center, and the Center for Secure Cyberspace has had a significant impact on the growth of Louisiana Tech's intellectual property and commercialization process and is becoming a model for technology transfer. In 2008, Louisiana Tech ranked 10th in the nation in the commercialization of micro and nano-technologies.
The nexus of Tech's innovation enterprise is the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CEnIT), which catalyzes the commercialization process by connecting research centers with top students, the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC) and other technology transfer experts, the Enterprise Center and a wide array of business development resources, community partners, entrepreneurs, and investors.
CEnIT engages students in the innovation enterprise through its Innovative Venture Research Teams, Venture Enhancement Teams, and IMPACT Teams-all three innovation programs funded by the National Science Foundation and focused on technology development and commercialization.
The people and resources in this innovation enterprise have enabled Louisiana Tech to become the place to be with new ideas.
Tech is producing inventions at five times the national average (254 since 2003), and private sector interest in Louisiana Tech's technology development activities has led to 21 license agreements for commercialization of university intellectual property since 2005.
Since 2005, this rapid growth of innovation has led to the creation of 14 new start-up companies in the two high-tech business incubators at the Enterprise Center, the expansion of many existing companies into Ruston to partner with Louisiana Tech, and the awarding of 12 Small Business Innovation Research grants totaling over $4 million in the last three years.
In 2009, Louisiana Tech ranked second nationally in the rate of new inventions and new start-up companies, according to a study by the Association of University Technology Managers. As an institution that connects the region to global flows of knowledge, innovation, and technology, Louisiana Tech University represents a critical link to the global economy. The next phase of these activities is the new Louisiana Tech Enterprise Campus.
"The Enterprise Campus represents the dawn of a new era for Louisiana Tech University."
Dr. Daniel D. Reneau, President, Louisiana Tech University
Enterprise Campus will be a vibrant extension of Louisiana Tech's main campus with a seamless transition between the knowledge borne of its research enterprise through the innovations emerging from entrepreneurial students to the successful high-growth companies in the new Campus.
With the world-class research and technology transfer activities growing at Louisiana Tech University and the community partnerships that are developing to enhance those activities, the city of Ruston is emerging as the core of an innovation enterprise that will impact the nation and the world and enhance the quality of life in our region for decades to come.