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About Sponsored Programs
The Sponsored Programs division of the Board of Regents administers State and federal programs that provide funds and other resources to Louisiana’s post-secondary education community and interacts extensively with institutions and governmental agencies on issues related to post-secondary research and educational enhancement. The principal activity of Sponsored Programs is centered around the Board of Regents Support Fund (BoRSF) and its major related initiative, the Louisiana Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (LA EPSCoR).
Research-Based Technology Transfer and Commercialization
Board Actions: December 2014/June 2015
During 2012-13, the Regents’ Master Plan Research Advisory Committee (MPRAC), in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) and the consultants LED engaged from Battelle, conducted analyses of Louisiana’s priority research areas to identify a limited number with potential for more accelerated State development and investment. The 2013 Battelle report recommended the following five priority research areas for more intensive review:
- Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
- Clean Technology and Energy
- Coastal and Water Management
- Digital Media and Enterprise Software
- Life Sciences and Bioengineering
MPRAC promptly established five corresponding Task Forces to pinpoint opportunities for innovation within each designated area. Task Forces completed reports in October 2014, each recommending no more than three priority areas for research investment.
Following an external review, at its meeting of December 10, 2014, Board actions recommended “to current and future Governors, the Legislature, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, and the Louisiana Innovation Council, along with academic and business leaders, …specific short- and long-term State and private investments in the priority university research areas which the MPRAC Task Forces and review panel identified, especially the three ranked at the top: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Life Sciences and Bioengineering, and Digital Media and Enterprise Software.”
At its meeting of June 17, 2015, the Board of Regents considered the Master Plan Research Advisory Committee’s report recommending technology transfer approaches in regard to: (1) proof-of-concept/prototype funding; (2) Regents-level communication and coordination; (3) flexible standards for campuses as appropriate to their roles, scopes, and missions; and (4) statewide assessment of the state of university-based technology transfer. The Board unanimously acted as follows:
- Charged the staff and MPRAC to closely monitor the level of success of awardees in the Support Fund’s new Proof-of-Concept/Prototype (PoCP) initiative and make timely recommendations regarding future directions;
- Endorsed MPRAC’s recommendation that the Commissioner of Higher Education, on behalf of the Board of Regents, proceed with hiring, as expeditiously as possible, the Board of Regents Technology Transfer Liaison;
- Urged each campus member of the Master Plan Research Advisory Committee (MPRAC), consistent with the campus’ respective role, scope, and mission, to adapt as appropriate from best practices identified by the National Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). Each affected campus will transmit its report to all members of MPRAC by June 1, 2016;
- Based on National Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) data and other relevant information available in campus reports, charged MPRAC, in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED), to assess and make recommendations regarding: (a) the state of university-based technology transfer across Louisiana; and (b) statewide/regional policy and/or funding arrangements which could enhance university-based technology transfer. The Chair of MPRAC will report MPRAC’s assessment regarding a-b to the Commissioner of Higher Education by September 1, 2016.