LSU may consider 'research foundation' to foster tech transfer
LSU's Transition Advisory Team is working to finalize its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, which asked for help as it tries to reorganize the LSU System into a more cohesive "One LSU." One of the major topics of conversation at the team's Commercialization and Technology Transfer Task Force today was the possible creation of a "research foundation" that would help focus and coordinate the system's research efforts, while facilitating commercialization of university research. Joe Lovett, managing general partner at the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center, says the university won't realize the potential revenue of its research if the work stays in the lab. "That's the emphasis, get it out the door and see what happens," he told the task force. Georgia Tech was mentioned as a university that has had success with the research foundation model, though task force members today said LSU wouldn't necessarily duplicate another university's model. Today's meeting also touched on the role of the president and the board in prioritizing commercialization and technology transfer in helping foster a cultural change; the options for commercialization as part of the tenure process; and the need to bring in more grants and more research expenditures. However, a tight budget makes it hard to attract and retain the star faculty members that win large grants, several meeting attendees noted. The advisory team will meet again next Monday, and hopes to finalize its report in time for the Board of Supervisors meeting the following Friday. —David Jacobs
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