LSU President’s Committee on Technology Transfer Recommends New Approach to Leverage Innovation

A new proof-of-concept fund and policy amendments to be considered at January Board of Supervisors’ Meeting

 In order to better advance innovation arising from university research, LSU will adopt a new approach to commercialization and technology transfer, based on the recommendations of the President’s Committee on Technology Transfer, or PCTT.

“With 10 campuses across the state, including a tier-1 research institution, two medical schools, an agricultural center, and a biomedical research center, our research has the potential to truly impact economic development in the state and make a difference for people around the nation and the world,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “I’m grateful to the members of our committee for lending their time and expertise to help LSU enhance its ability to move the results of our research out from behind university gates and into the marketplace.”

The new approach is based upon a new shared-services partnership with the LSU System Research and Technology Foundation for centralized administrative support functions enhancing both productivity and cost-savings while allowing each campus to manage its own operations. The budget for this partnership is expected to replace what the campuses currently spend on external legal fees each year, and will be shared according to a formula based upon each campus’ relative proportion of LSU’s total annual research expenditures.  The Office of the President and Chancellor will also contribute funds to assist the transition during its first year.

This new approach will be strengthened by the launch of a new proof-of-concept funding program, the LSU LIFT, or Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer, Fund.  The LSU LIFT Fund will provide support for commercialization of faculty intellectual property – support difficult to come by through traditional means. Providing a bridge over the critical gap between basic research and commercialization, the LSU LIFT fund would – if approved by the Board of Supervisors – provide grants to faculty on a competitive basis twice a year, in amounts up to $50,000, to validate the market potential of their inventions. The Board will consider a recommendation to permanently sustain the LSU LIFT Fund by allocating 5 percent of all future licensing income directly to the fund.

“Building a robust pipeline for bringing new technology to the marketplace is critical for creating an innovation economy. As a key component of that effort, BRAC has long supported improving the process of technology transfer and commercialization at LSU,” said BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp. “The recommendation of the LIFT fund, in particular, illustrates LSU’s commitment to supporting faculty inventors during the earliest phases of an idea. We applaud Dr. Alexander’s leading change in this area, and look forward to further developments under his leadership to improve performance.”

Finally, other recommendations of the PCTT include the adoption of a shared mission statement emphasizing high-quality faculty service and effective, efficient commercialization practices for economic impact and public benefit, and the revision of pertinent regulations and policies to streamline and clarify the management of intellectual property through technology transfer at LSU.

“Our committee was charged with the task of improving LSU’s technology transfer processes across all campuses, and upon implementation, our recommendations will do just that,” said Arthur Cooper, PCTT chair and CEO of the LSU System Research & Technology Foundation. “We’re excited to see the impact these changes will have on innovation coming out of LSU, and hope the Board of Supervisors agree with our recommendations.”

Other PCTT committee members include:

  • William Richardson, Vice President of Agriculture and Dean of the College of Agriculture, LSU and LSU AgCenter
  • Kalliat T. Valsaraj, Vice Chancellor of Research & Economic Development
  • Patrick Reed, Director,  Office of Technology Management, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans
  • Annella Nelson, Director, Sponsored Programs & Tech Transfer, LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport
  • Leslie Smith, Licensing Officer, LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Nicole Baute Honorée, Director of Research & Economic Development Initiatives, LSU System

A full report on the technology transfer recommendations provided by the PCTT will be discussed during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 31, when it considers the recommended changes to its regulations and the creation of the LSU LIFT Fund.

The President’s Committee on Technology Transfer was convened by Alexander after the Transition Advisory Team identified technology transfer as a key component critical to the mission of reshaping LSU’s research enterprise.

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