[StBernard] Regents Award Targeted Research, Education Program Funding to Louisiana Colleges and Universities Se

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Jun 27 21:51:31 EDT 2007

Regents Award Targeted Research, Education Program Funding to Louisiana Colleges and Universities Severely Impacted by Hurricanes

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Board of Regents Sponsored Programs Committee today approved a recommendation to award a total of $27.6 million in funding for eleven proposals submitted under the Board of Regents Research Commercialization and Educational Enhancement Program (RC/EEP). Funding for the projects comes from $28.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for investment in research institutions impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These funds, appropriated as a result of a join effort by Regents and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), are earmarked to help rebuild the storm-damaged university campuses in ways that help Louisiana develop and grow a technology- and innovation-driven economy. Proposals were selected for funding through a competitive process using out-of-state evaluators.

"It's been very gratifying to see this process run its course," said Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie. "It was of course difficult for the panel to settle upon the best proposals from a very strong field. But in the end, I think the projects that have been selected well represent the spirit of the original vision for this important initiative."

"The LRA board was enthusiastic in recommending the use of a portion of the CDBG funds for this program," said LRA Executive Director Andy Kopplin. "Board members wanted to do something to address academic flight risk after the hurricanes. They also wanted to make an investment that made a strong statement about the role that they felt college and university research should play in the recovery."

Under program rules, funds may be used to support research, facilitate commercialization of university-developed products and processes in Louisiana, and support educational activities that will build a trained workforce for technology-based companies. Public and private colleges and universities in the eight parishes hardest hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were eligible to apply for the funds.

The eleven proposals selected for funding, representing eight institutions, were as follows (lead institutions(s); project tile; total award amount):

1. Tulane Health Sciences Center/LSU Health Sciences Center - New Orleans; Clinical and Translational Research Education and Commercialization Program; $5,950,000.
2. LSU Agricultural Center; Coastal Area Research Enhancement in Support of Genetic Improvement of Native Coastal Wetlands Creation and Restoration; $915,146.
3. Tulane University Health Sciences Center; Design, Delivery and Development of Therapeutic Peptides; $5,800,000.
4. LSU Health Sciences Center - New Orleans; South Louisiana Institute for Infectious Diseases Research; $3,350,000
5. Tulane University; Development of a Nationally Recognized Model in Research Commercialization, Education and Workforce Development in Chemical Engineering and the Chemical Sciences Through University and Community College Collaborations; $3,900,000.
6. McNeese State University; Support for Educational and Economic Development in Southwest Louisiana (SEEDS-LA); $2,700,000.
7. Dillard University; Multi-Media Intercollegiate, Interdisciplinary Technological Research; $1,500,000.
8. Loyola University; Chagas Disease in Southeastern Louisiana; $498,000
9. Loyola University; Enhancement of Undergraduate Research in Cancer Biology; $500,000.
10. Loyola University; New Orleans Music, Entertainment and Educational Consortium; $992,278.
11. Xavier University; Center for Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery; $1,500,000.

Full Board approval of the funding recommendation is expected at tomorrow's Board of Regents meeting. For more information on these proposals and the RC/EEP evaluation process, go to http://www.laregents.org/www2/main/RCEEP%20FINAL%20REPORT.pdf <http://www.laregents.org/www2/main/RCEEP%20FINAL%20REPORT.pdf> .

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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