Overview of the LSU System
Conducting Cutting-Edge Research
The research enterprise in the LSU System is a diverse as its many campuses. From exploring the boundaries of advanced computing to developing new crop varietals, or from decoding the human genome to solving the challenges of obesity to devising methods to preserve the eroding coast the researchers across the LSU System are actively engaged in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and supporting the critical mission of our research universities.
While each campus manages its research enterprise independently, the LSU System provides support and resources to enhance their success. The LSU System took the lead scientific and administrative role in connecting Louisiana to the National Lambda Rail and establishing LONI, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, a state-of-the-art, fiber optics network that runs throughout Louisiana, and connects Louisiana and Mississippi research universities to one another as well as National LambdaRail and Internet2. LONI provides Louisiana researchers with one of the most advanced optical networks in the country and the most powerful distributed supercomputer resources available to any academic community with over 85 teraflops of computational capacity.
The LSU System also established the LSU System Research & Technology Foundation, which has two major components:
- Louisiana Fund I, an early stage venture capital fund focused on the identification of investment opportunities emanating from research universities and other organizations in the state of Louisiana, which currently has several significant companies in its portfolio including, most notably, Esperance Pharmaceuticals
- Louisiana Emerging Technology Center, an incubator for companies with wet-lab needs, which serves small and start-up businesses developing and commercializing university technologies. Tenants in the 60,000 sq. ft. facility located on the LSU campus focus on the biotechnology, life sciences, agricultural and environmental industries
Annual research & development expenditures, as tracked by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are regarded as the gold standard of actual research activity at an institution. In FY 2011, the most recent year available, campuses in the LSU System spent $413,044,000 on research and development activities. Of this total, 43 percent was funded by federal sources, 20 percent by state and local governments, and 5 percent by industry. The table below illustrates the System-wide R&D expenditures by campus.