SSTI Digest

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Geography: Louisiana


George Swift is the first executive director for the new Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development.

Biotech in the Future for Baton Rouge?

To promote biotech in Baton Rouge, a new study sponsored by Capital Region Competitive Strategy (CapStrategy) recommends constructing an "idea pipeline" to better commercialize the intellectual property and research generated in the region's universities, hospitals and research institutes. CapStrategy, a nonprofit, cluster-based economic development initiative, operates under the Chamber of Greater Baton Rouge and represents nine parishes in the region.

Research Park News



Sylvia Goodman is leaving her position as director of technology and innovation at Louisiana Economic Development.

Louisiana Strategic Plan Provides Road Map for Developing State's Economy

An update to Louisiana: Vision 2020, a strategic plan to improve the Louisiana economy, calls for creating more quality jobs in the state's high growth sectors. First released by the Louisiana Economic Development Council in 1998, the newly revised plan also stresses the need to place increased importance on early childhood education, teacher quality and math and reading performance among high school students as keys to boosting student achievement.


Dennis Lower of the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana is the new leader of the Louisiana Economic Development Council.

Louisiana Legislature Passes Tax Credits to Promote R&D

The 2002 Special Session of the Louisiana State Legislature has yielded a series of tax credits that aim to benefit biotechnology companies in Louisiana, promote commercialization of technology, encourage R&D investments, and make the state more competitive in information technology. The tax credits are as follows:


Formerly the marketing manager for a local software firm, Mary Bergeron recently was named the new executive director of the Baton Rouge Technology Council.

Louisiana Governor Outlines $187 Million Biosciences Initiative

Louisiana Governor Mike Foster's economic development plan calls for $37 million for a Biosciences Initiative, at the state's top research universities, $15 million to support industry clusters for regional universities, and $8.4 million to spur enrollment growth in community and technical colleges. Coupled by a $150 million bond issue, funding for bioscience endeavors would equal a $187 million investment.


John Hightower, executive director of the Baton Rouge Technology Council for the past seven months, has resigned to resume a career in public relations and lobbying. The Council has started a search for his replacement.


Vic Johnson, Director for Policy, Planning & Technology in the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LDED), is taking the position as manager of the Technology Transfer Office of the Louisiana Business & Technology Center. Mark Galyean will be handling Vic’s responsibilities at LDED. 

Louisiana Moving Toward Cluster-based ED

Citing the need to attract knowledge- and technology-based businesses to the state, Louisiana Governor Mike Foster has proposed converting the state’s Department of Economic Development (DED) into Louisiana, Inc., a private, state-chartered, not-for-profit corporation.