SSTI Digest

Geography: Louisiana

Southern Growth Seeks Input on Innovation Survey

Southern Growth Policies Board has launched its 2006 online survey at to poll Southern citizens on their attitudes towards innovation and technology, and their role in the economic future of the region. All Digest readers within the Southern Growth's service-area are encouraged to share their opinions and ideas on strategies for increasing the role of innovation and technology in southern businesses, universities and governments, and the potential of technology to create jobs and wealth in the South. The 12-question survey should take only a few minutes to complete.


Louisiana Department of Economic Development announced Robert Fudickar will be the technology industry director for the state agency.

Lafayette Voters Approve $125M Broadband Project

The year-long battle between Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) and competitors BellSouth Louisiana and Cox Communications over the utility company's proposed Fiber for the Future project came to an end last month when voters approved the $125 million fiber optics plan by a vote of 62 percent to 38 percent.


Pauli Jacobi, director of the Louisiana State University System Research and Technology Foundation, is resigning her position but will remain an LSU employee.

Louisiana Creates New Orleans Bioscience District

With hopes of creating a geographic concentration of academic and private bioscience research and commercialization, the Louisiana legislature ended its 2005 session with passage of a bill creating a new development authority. House Bill 742, the Greater New Orleans Biosciences Economic Development District Act, focuses on an area of several blocks in downtown New Orleans, but the bill grants the district's board the ability to redefine its boundaries by additional properties, including those outside the Orleans parish. The district may issue bonds to support acquisition of land and construction of buildings and other facilities.

Louisiana Business & Technology Center Awarded for Sustained Success

Louisiana State University's Business and Technology Center (LBTC) recently received the National Business Incubation Association's (NBIA) 2005 Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award, recognizing overall excellence in business incubation programs. The award is NBIA's most prestigious honor, presented as a tribute to NBIA's first chairman.

TBED Organizations & People Update

Sylvia Goldman has resigned as director of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, effective at the end of March.


Norma Grace, vice chancellor for technology and economic development at the University of New Orleans, has been elected as the 2004-05 president of the Association of University Research Parks.


Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco appointed state bond commisssion director Sharon Perez to serve as undersecretary for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, and Secretary Michael Olivier named Dane Revette director of the agency's energy cluster.


The Louisiana Emerging Technologies Center announced Arthur Cooper will serve as its first executive director.


Don Hutchinson is the new director of the Mayor's Office of Economic Development for the city of New Orleans.


Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has appointed Michael Olivier to serve as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. Olivier was president and CEO of the Harrison County Development Commission in Gulfport, Miss., for 17 years.