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New Focus on Intellectual Properties, Economic Development

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Spring 2019 Commencement marked by several milestones

A total of 1,786 degrees were awarded during the UL Lafayette’s 161st Commencement ceremonies Friday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has always been an integral part of the economic picture in Acadiana.

By itself, UL Lafayette is an economic engine that pumps two-thirds of a billion dollars into Acadiana's economy each year. It annually injects about $149 million of direct, unrestricted spending into the Lafayette economy alone.

And when the economy takes a different turn, UL Lafayette adjusts. In the 1980s when the oil industry busted, the university answered by establishing 17 research centers to diversify the economy.

Today, university administrators are again adjusting to a changing economy, placing a focus on intellectual properties and patents. To this measure, Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, director of the Center for Business and Information Technologies, is expected to be appointed the assistant to the vice president for research and graduate studies during the UL System Board of Supervisors meeting next week.

He will help better facilitate the development of intellectual properties like inventions, discoveries or works of authorship within the UL Lafayette community, ultimately increasing the university's number of patents and license agreements. Currently, the university holds 19 registered copyrights, five license agreements and three patents. Ten patents are pending.

“ Ramesh is already doing this on a smaller scale at the Center for Business and Information Technologies,” said Dr. Bob Stewart, vice president for research and graduate studies. “He will now be a liaison working with the university community as a whole.”

Kolluru is expected to continue serving as CBIT's director. He noted with the impending opening of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and the hookup to the Louisiana Optic Network Initiative, intellectual property numbers will be ready to bloom.

“ I think it is a great time for the university to tap into the energy and excitement from assets like the LITE facility and LONI. The excitement in the university and the community is palpable, we are tapping into this energy through the establishment of a National Science Foundation funded technology incubator called the LA TIES,” said Kolluru. “These assets offer a tremendous resource base for our faculty and researchers in terms of developing intellectual properties. And with this renewed focus on intellectual property commercialization and technology transfer, the university is strengthening its position as a state leader on economic development and university-driven innovation and entrepreneurship.”

LITE is a research complex featuring a comprehensive set of advanced visualization systems including the world's largest 3D theater and one of the world's first six-sided digital 3D immersive rooms. It is powered by a highly integrated concentration of graphics supercomputer-class servers, and high-speed networking. LONI is a fiber optics network that connects supercomputers at Louisiana's major research universities, allowing computation speeds more than 1,000 times the rate previously possible, and transforming the research capability of Louisiana's educational institutions. The Louisiana Technology Incubator for Entrepreneurial Success (LA TIES), headed by Kolluru will provide the university and business community a way to tap into these resources and create the next generation of technology products and services.

In addition to Kolluru's position, the university's website has also been enhanced to feature more information and resources on intellectual properties. Listed under the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies web section at http://research.louisiana.edu, the website includes forms necessary to register intellectual properties along with policies and helpful information about technology transfer.

“ The website contains everything a faculty member or researcher needs to understand intellectual properties and procedures,” said Stewart. “It's a one-stop shop for registering their information or learning more about the processes of registering intellectual properties.”

The Office of Contractual Review, under the direction of Nelson Schexnayder, will examine all research agreements, disclosures, patent applications and other forms. The creator of intellectual property has a duty to promptly and completely report all said property in which the university has an ownership interest.

“ The university's goal with technology transfer is to stimulate economic development from the local level to the state level,” said UL Lafayette President Ray Authement. “Our priority is to assist businesses within our community and state while enhancing the reputation and impact of the university.”

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