Across Bayou State
New initiatives to promote development of biotechnology, nanotechology and other popular sciences are moving forward across the state.
The New Orleans BioInnovation Center will be the final piece of the state's network of three biotechnology business incubators approved by the Louisiana Legislature in 2002. Construction is set to begin in early 2006 on the $30-million, 130,000-sq.-ft. (12,000-sq.-m.) structure. A major tenant will be The Louisiana Gene Therapy Research Consortium. One of the center's goals will be to help translate research from Louisiana State University and Tulane University into new spinoff companies and high-paying biotech jobs.
"We will focus on biotech opportunities from the greater New Orleans area," Executive Director Aaron Miscenich tells Site Selection. "Currently there's no organized commercialization center for biotech from those two universities, so this will be very dramatic. We will also be developing programming that will include other universities."
Regional innovation centers are set to open in Shreveport and Baton Rouge this summer. The New Orleans project was delayed due to unsuccessful efforts to salvage an old office building on the site. Demolition of that building began on June 9. Miscenich says he hopes the center will open by the summer of 2007.
The state's technology push got some recognition in May when the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA)
"Approval of this degree will give the state of Louisiana a chance to lead the nation in work force development for the new growth areas of our economy," said Dr. Stan Napper, dean of the university's College of Engineering and Science. "There's definitely a national need that we are responding to."
The Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) figures to be a major boost to the Lafayette region when it opens in February 2006. Previously known as the Acadiana Technology Immersion Center (ATIC), LITE will house one of the world's most comprehensive and tightly integrated visualization and high-performance computing installations.
A world's first will be LITE's six-sided 3D immersive cube using digital light processing. The $20-million, 70,000-sq.-ft. (6,503-sq.-m.) facility will be located on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
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