In January this year, Louisiana State University (LSU), established LSU LIFT (Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer) Fund, which offers bi-annual funding to LSU faculty members on a competitive basis, to effectively transfer innovation out of the lab and into the market. The board also agreed to continually support the LSU LIFT Fund by assigning 5% of the university’s future IP licensing income to the new fund.
In Round 1 of funding, the program attracted 47 applications out of which 15 grants were awarded, with a total funding of over US$ 500,000 in support of further commercialization of innovation. Round 2 is currently in progress and the awardees will be announced in the beginning of 2015. In October, 2014, the Research Park Corporation commenced a US$ 250,000 LSU Re- LIFT program that would help the aspirants who could not obtain the funding in Round 1, but had promising projects.
Now, LSU’s Board of Supervisors has approved the addition of another US$ 2M into the LIFT Fund. LSU President and Chancellor, F King Alexander said in a statement, “LSU faculty conduct research that has important impact on people’s lives. With the launch of the LIFT Fund and now the extended commitment to transfer research innovations into marketplace, LSU continues to demonstrate that our research can enhance the lives of people in Louisiana and the nation”.
Technology transfer initiatives like LSU LIFT Fund will help plug in the gap between basic Research & Development and tech commercialization, by providing support to innovations through further experiments or prototyping.