Posted on Jul 15, 2014 in NewsResearch & Innovation

The pilot phase of the LSU LIFT2 Grant Program has concluded, and 15 grants totaling $500,000 will be awarded to support proof of concept innovations. The LIFT2 grants will support projects ranging from a number of disciplines from all five of LSU’s research campuses.

“We are pleased to award the first ever LIFT2 fund grants at LSU,” said LSU President & Chancellor F. King Alexander. “The results of the pilot phase of the program indicate a tremendous interest in the program and show that there was a need for such proof of concept funding to support innovation and commercialization. This program will help to see many of these projects advance from basic research to market.”

The LSU LIFT2 program was created by the LSU Board of Supervisors in January to help “Leverage Innovation for Technology Transfer” across all the campuses of the LSU system. “Innovations” include creative and artistic works as well as devices, drugs, software and other more traditional inventions; thus, personnel from all disciplines on all LSU campuses are strongly encouraged to consider an application to further develop an invention which has been previously disclosed to their campus technology transfer office.

“The LSU Board of Supervisors is pleased to see so many researchers participate in the request for proposal process for the initial LIFT2 grants,” said LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert “Bobby” Yarborough. “Every day we see the impact that LSU research is having on our state in addressing a number of areas like healthcare, the coast, workforce development, energy, agriculture and more. These initial grants are the first of many from this program, and we encourage more researchers to apply in the future.”

The LSU LIFT2 Grant Program pilot phase launched in May and applications for grants closed on June 20. A total of 47 applications were received, and the 15 grants will be distributed as follows: seven at LSU, three at the LSU AgCenter, three at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, one at LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport and one at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Some examples of the work being supported through the initial LIFT2 grants include a real-time, automated video analytics system; a novel chewing gum to prevent certain cancers; a system to manage irrigation at container plant nurseries; a biodegradable urethral scaffold; a method to reclaim treated wood and recycle it as a raw material for “green” spray foam insulation; and software enhancements to smartphone apps for weight management.

The grants have been awarded after being scored by an external review panel on criteria related to primarily technical merit and commercial potential. Results of the research from these first grants are expected within 12 months.

The LSU LIFT2 Fund provides support to help transfer LSU technologies and innovations to the market – support difficult to come by through traditional means. Providing a bridge over the critical gap between basic research and commercialization, the LSU LIFT2 Fund awards grants to faculty on a competitive basis twice a year, in amounts up to $50,000, to validate the market potential of their inventions.

By permanently securing a portion of licensing income for the LSU LIFT2 Fund, LSU has ensured continual reinvestment in new innovation opportunities and affirmed its commitment to advancing discoveries for public benefit. Commercialization of academic innovations through technology transfer further enhances multiple aspects of LSU’s mission and creates new economic opportunity in Louisiana and elsewhere.

The next round of applications for LIFT2 awards will open in November, for the semi-annual program.