eyond North Louisiana's traditional strengths as a manufacturing, oil/gas and agricultural hub, the region is nurturing an emerging technology sector that we call the "North Louisiana Innovation Corridor." The Innovation Corridor is a collection of high tech assets, which include technology companies and innovative programs, hosted by nine public educational institutions and private entities.
The assets within the North Louisiana Innovation Corridor generate the R&D, the intellectual capital, the venture capital, the entrepreneurial development, and the high tech labor force needed to nurture, sustain and grow technology companies.
Access to Research & Development
The exciting research that is happening at universities and colleges in the North Louisiana Innovation Corridor offers many opportunities for patents, partnerships and commercialization.
The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is conducting hundreds of bioscience research projects, including but not limited to, cancer, Alzheimer's, autism, Parkinson's disease and diabetes.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe's College of Pharmacy, the state's only public pharmacy school, is investigating the development of nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, cancer and Alzheimer's treatments and the early detection of prostate cancer. The College of Pharmacy often collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to develop new drug formulations.
Ranked third nationally in nanotechnology education, Louisiana Tech University's Institute for Micromanufacturing harnesses intellectual capital from faculty and students to develop cutting-edge technology and inventions. Research at Louisiana Tech produces five times the national average on report of inventions (ROI) per expenditures. License/option activity at Louisiana Tech has more than quadrupled over the past five years.
Nurturing High Tech Growth
As a unique collaboration between local and state governments, private industry and academia, the Cyber Innovation Center acts as a catalyst within the Innovation Corridor to foster a knowledge-based economy. CIC anchors a 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park, aimed at accelerating technology transfer and fostering collaboration.
The Biomedical Research Foundation's InterTech Science Park serves as a technology incubator, nurturing life science and digital technology companies. Since 1986, the Foundation has generated $213 million to promote this entrepreneurial environment.
Together these assets and many others offer technology companies an exciting environment of opportunities.
NLEP assists prospective and existing companies in expanding or locating in 14 parishes in North Louisiana. Contact Kurt Foreman at 318-677-2536 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
hen company executives decide the time has come to build a new facility, the decision is never taken lightly. Many factors must be considered: Is there an available workforce and can they be trained? Does the infrastructure meet the company's needs? Are state and local leaders friendly to business?
For the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) — a regional economic development organization representing nine counties in South Carolina's northeast corner — they answer these questions with a simple catch phrase "the NESA region has it all," and for many employers they do. The perfect example is Florence, South Carolina's White Hawk Commerce Park.
White Hawk is a shovel-ready, 1,175-acre industrial park crafted under the CSX Corporation's Select Site Initiative. The initiative focuses on access to rail services, proximity to highways, workforce availability, and access to natural gas, electricity, water, and the like.
The park is situated in the heart of the NESA region, which itself is centrally positioned on the eastern seaboard. The site boasts direct access to I-95 and I-20, as well as two side-tracks, and unit train capabilities. White Hawk is located an hour away from the Port of Charleston and just a half-mile from the Florence Regional Airport. In sum, shipments coming out of White Hawk can reach the far-east or the mid-west without a problem.
Beyond location and transportation, White Hawk's on-the-ground infrastructure doesn't disappoint either. The site is fully equipped with access to Progress Energy transmission and feeder lines, City of Florence water, SCANA 6" and 4" natural gas lines, as well as telecommunication and high-speed fiber optics.
Now while White Hawk is at the top of any list of shovel-ready industrial parks, we cannot pretend like it is a wonder unto itself. All the infrastructure, highways, and rail lines will not make a company successful, if there isn't community support and direct access to strong human resources. But for the folks in the NESA region, this is not a new aberration — frankly they've known what businesses are looking for on these fronts over a generation.
When the Presidential candidates recently passed through South Carolina, they were nearly singularly focused on jobs, and the economy. And certainly every economic development officer welcomes any elected official's decision to focus on these topics, but for the hardworking citizens of South Carolina's NESA region, jobs and the economy have been the focus for decades.
As a result, South Carolina is home to one of the most business friendly environments in the United States. It is a right-to-work state that boasts low tax-rates, and myriad incentives to new employers.
In some circumstances South Carolina provides tax credits of up to $9,000 per job created by qualifying companies. These credits can offset up to 50 percent of a company's state income tax. And if a business does not use the full credit in the first year, there is a rollover program in which unused credits can be carried forward for a full 15 years. The State even provides sales tax exemptions on electricity and fuel used in manufacturing processes, machinery and equipment used in production.
Yet in spite of this emphasis on low taxes, the State maintains a competitive level of investment in education and workforce development. For example, two leading technical colleges are located just down the road from White Hawk, and through the State's Ready SC program, qualifying new employers can train their workforce at no cost.
South Carolina and the NESA region are absolutely committed to developing the local economy — and employers around the country are taking notice. Not far from the White Hawk site, one finds facilities associated with leading companies including General Electric, Heinz, Dupont, ESAB, Federal Express and more.
In 2008, Florence, South Carolina, was ranked fifth in the nation by The Miliken Institute for Business Expansion. Looking at the White Hawk Commerce Park, it's easy to conclude that four years later, the region's only gotten better.