LSU and Research Park Corporation trying to improve entrepreneurial ecosystem

    It’s been more than a year since the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Research Park Corporation and LSU paid local consulting firm Emergent Method $50,000 to study how LSU and RPC can work more closely together to better serve Baton Rouge’s entrepreneurial community. In April, the firm released the results of that study, which essentially concludes the ecosystem is fragmented and recommends the two entities collaborate more.

    Rather than simply pointing out systemwide deficiencies and serving as a cheerleader for collaboration, however, the study lays out a road map for an often-discussed but long-resisted move: A joint venture between RPC and LSU, allowing for better management of expenses across the ecosystem while also increasing the odds of attracting more paying tenants to better utilize existing facilities.

    The study went so far as to provide an 18-month timeline detailing how the two organizations could gradually integrate, collaborate on services, eliminate waste and dedicate resources where most needed.

    Yet four months later, there are few visible signs of change. Both entities continue to walk and talk as they did prior to the Emergent Method study, and there are few signs of either seriously embracing any of the recommendations outlined in the 72-page document.

    Instead, those entrenched in Baton Rouge’s “innovation ecosystem” say they already foster a healthy working relationship with each other and are opting to take a big-picture approach to Emergent Method’s suggestions, using its overarching emphasis on collaboration as a launchpad for joining forces to raise awareness about each organization, the services they offer and what kind of progress they’ve made over the past several decades. 

    But, what does that mean exactly? Read the full story from the latest edition of Business Report

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