SSTI Digest

Geography: Louisiana

Louisiana Tech Fund Gets $2.3M for Startups

Two years following its creation, the Louisiana Technology Fund has $2.3 million to help the early-stage technology companies for which it was intended, the Baton Rouge-based Advocate reported earlier this month. The fund stems from 2002 legislation that revived Louisiana's Certified Capital Companies (CAPCOs) program.

Website, Reports Stress Importance of States' Fuel Cell Incentives

While the federal government supports fuel cell research, nearly every state across the country has taken a more active role in advancing the development and commercialization of fuel cell and renewable energy technologies, according to two recent reports from the North Carolina State University Solar Center. A web-based directory of more than 875 state and federal initiatives managed by the center helps prove that point.


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


The Mystic Valley Development Commission (MVDC) recently secured a $5.5 million loan from Citizens Bank of Massachusetts to finance the final land acquisitions for the first phase of TeleCom City, a 200-acre technology development project along the banks of the Malden River in the cities of Medford, Malden and Everett. MVDC was created by an act of the state legislature in 1996. With the loan from Citizens, the Commission will purchase the project's remaining three parcels of land, which total about eight acres in Medford. The project also has received more than $25 million in state support and $13 million in federal funding. Phase One, the construction of four 110,000-square-foot buildings on about 29 acres in Medford, is scheduled to begin in 2004.


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.

For the Biosciences Initiative, The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Vision 2020 recommends that the state invest $28 million in one-time capital expenditures and $9 million in annual revenues, beginning with the new fiscal year on July 1. Included is the Louisiana Health Research and Clinical Care Initiative, the $150 million bond issue that would cost the state $15 million a year to repay. Funding for this initiative — designed to update the state's medical schools' facilities and equipment and attract faculty — would come from interest earnings and tobacco settlement funds. It includes $70 million for a Capital Challenge Fund, $50 million for an Equipment Fund, and $30 million for a Research Revolving Fund.

The Biosciences Initiative also includes the following components:


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.