Enterprise Campus to transform research, economic development in north Louisiana
Louisiana Tech’s research park to become region’s ‘epicenter of technology enterprises’
With the dedication of Enterprise Campus, Louisiana Tech University’s new research park, the university joins the ranks of some of the most progressive and respected research institutions in the nation.
“Every great research institution in the country recognizes the importance of a strong relationship between research and industry,” said Louisiana Tech University President Dan Reneau. “Enterprise Campus will utilize the intellectual assets of Louisiana Tech and the expertise of our industry partners to provide unprecedented growth opportunities for technology companies throughout north Louisiana.”
“It will be one of region’s most dynamic and significant economic drivers,” said Reneau.
Enterprise Campus will serve as a home for high-tech companies looking to utilize the intellectual and research strengths of Louisiana Tech. In addition to high-tech companies, it is also expected to house government entities that wish to partner with the university in research, education and training, and other business development activities.
“Louisiana Tech is a significant leader in our state in terms of research-driven economic development, and that is exemplified in the groundbreaking of Enterprise Campus,” said University of Louisiana System President Dr. Randy Moffett. “I commend Dr. Reneau’s vision and the support of local, state and industry partners for investing in opportunities to transform Louisiana’s future.”
For more than a decade, Reneau has sought to capitalize on the increasing volume of Louisiana Tech’s patenting, licensing and entrepreneurial activities. In 2004, he appointed Dr. Les Guice, then the dean of the College of Engineering and Science, to serve as Tech’s vice president for research and development and immediately tasked him with developing a comprehensive plan for establishing a research park.
“We began by looking at our strengths as an institution and a region to help us understand what might be needed in terms of a research park,” said Guice. “We then hired one of the top research park consultants in the country to help us understand what to expect in terms of growth rates and development plans.”
Following this analysis and an intensive site selection study, it was determined that a site between Louisiana Tech and downtown Ruston would be an ideal location for Enterprise Campus. The location would also help to spur revitalization and growth activity in Ruston’s downtown districts.
In the spring of 2007, Enterprise Campus moved ever closer to becoming reality with Reneau’s securing of $25 million in funding support from the state of Louisiana. Soon after, a team of Louisiana Tech administrators was assembled to begin the process of land acquisition, infrastructure planning, and the design of the first building, Tech Pointe.
Enterprise Campus’ physical footprint could encompass as much as 50 acres in Ruston, stretching from the eastern edge of the university campus to the westernmost downtown area, and from US 80 to the Kansas City Southern rail line.
“Enterprise Campus and the jobs that it will create will certainly have an enormously positive impact on the City of Ruston,” said Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth. “Perhaps of even greater importance are the innovations and inventions that could emerge from Enterprise Campus, which could contribute to improving our overall quality of life not just locally, but globally as well.”
Fast-forward to Oct. 29, 2009.
The Enterprise Campus dedication is the culmination of an ambitious vision for Louisiana Tech and a new era of growth and opportunity for all of north Louisiana.
“In addition to the multi-million dollar impact Enterprise Campus will have on our region, this endeavor will provide new career opportunities for our graduates and help to reverse the current outflow of Louisiana’s intellectual assets,” said Reneau. “Enterprise Campus will also play a major role in retaining our incubator companies and attracting more established technology companies and government agencies.”
“I have no doubt that all of Louisiana is poised to benefit from the advent of Enterprise Campus.”
Written by Dave Guerin