Louisiana Tech's Enterprise Campus, City of Ruston receive $2 million EDA grant
Enterprise Campus, Louisiana Tech University’s research park, and the City of Ruston have been awarded a $2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for infrastructure development including roads, utilities, and green space.
The grant, awarded through the EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, will also provide for major upgrades and improvements to the underground infrastructure of Enterprise Campus and will begin to create enhancements to the above ground space between the campus and downtown Ruston, making it attractive to emerging and advanced technology companies.
“This grant will help to advance the economic development mission of Louisiana Tech University and our many cooperative efforts with the City of Ruston,” says Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau.
“I am grateful for the long-standing relationship we have with [Ruston] Mayor Dan Hollingsworth and the vision we both share for the future of our community. Enterprise Campus and the City of Ruston are poised to become the epicenter of north Louisiana’s economic development and high-tech business and research activities.”
As part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the EDA focuses locally-developed, regionally-based economic development initiatives that achieve the highest return on the taxpayers’ investment and that directly contribute to economic growth.
“Working collaboratively and in harmony on projects like this underscores our mutual commitment to building a better community, while fully supporting Louisiana Tech University’s quest for excellence,” says Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth. “The future in our area is bright because of the work that is on-going at Louisiana Tech University. This project takes that development and our partnership another giant step forward.”
The Economic Adjustment Assistance Program (EAAP) is designed to respond flexibly to pressing economic recovery issues and is suited to help address challenges faced by U.S. regions and communities.
Applicants for EAAP funding are evaluated based on factors such as strength of organizational leadership, advancement of productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and the ability to look beyond the immediate economic horizon, anticipate economic changes, and diversify the local and regional economy.
“This grant will enable us to develop the Homer Street corridor and adjoining street infrastructure,” says Dr. Les Guice, vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech.
“It will set the stage for the Enterprise Campus environment that will play a crucial role in attracting and retaining high-tech companies to Louisiana Tech and Ruston.”
In addition to the Economic Adjustment Assistance grant, the EDA’s University Center Economic Development Program has renewed funding for Louisiana Tech’s University Center for Economic Development, amounting to $270,000 over a three year period.
“The EDA University Center investment has been and will continue to be a driving force for much of the exciting technology-based economic development activities at Louisiana Tech,” says Dr. Dave Norris, director of Louisiana Tech’s Enterprise Center.
“Our ongoing partnership with EDA has greatly enhanced the University’s overall economic development efforts.”
The University Center Economic Development Program is a partnership between the Federal government and academia that helps to make the varied and vast resources of universities available to economic development communities.
In October, Louisiana Tech broke ground on Tech Pointe, Enterprise Campus’ first multi-tenant facility, located on the northwest corner of Homer Street and Arizona Avenue in Ruston.
Written by Dave Guerin