two relatively strong research universities, Louisiana is
in the lower ranking of states when it comes to the allocation
of federal R&D dollars. Louisiana received $230 million in
federal R&D funds in FY 1997, the least of all three Gulf
States (see Louisiana
Table). This amounts to 0.3 percent of total federal R&D
spending which is enough to rank Louisiana 36th among the
50 states and the District of Columbia even though Louisiana's
population is roughly the same size as Alabama's.
federal R&D dollars come primarily from four agencies: DOD,
NASA, HHS, and USDA. HHS is the largest contributor with $65
million followed by NASA ($41 million), USDA ($34 million),
and DOD ($31 million). Together these four agencies account
for three-fourths of Louisiana's federal R&D portfolio.
performers of R&D through the use of federal dollars in Louisiana
are the universities and colleges. They received $126 million
in FY 1997 of federal R&D monies with HHS leading the way
with an allocation of $57 million of the total. Louisiana
State University and Tulane University received the majority,
$68 million and $44 million respectively.
State University (LSU) is one of only 25 universities nationwide
to hold both land-grant and sea-grant status. In addition
to federal funds for R&D, LSU also receives approximately
$140 million in additional R&D funding with the state of Louisiana
granting the most with $69 million, roughly the same amount
as the federal grants the university receives. With these
monies, LSU funds a variety of R&D programs and centers including
the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) which is managed
through LSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy. LaSPACE
is a NASA space grant program in Louisiana that helps fund
aerospace R&D and education. In conjunction with LaSPACE,
LSU oversees a $1 million NASA EPSCoR program.
LSU boasts the Earth Scan laboratory at its Coastal Studies
Institute which is the nation's first satellite earth station
established wholly by state funding. Other highlights include
the LSU Agriculture Center, the Center for Advanced Microstructures
and Devices, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
notable university programs in Louisiana include the joint
Xavier University and Tulane University Center for Bioenvironmental
Research created by DOD in 1989. Also, the University of Southwestern
Louisiana has a grant from NIST for a Manufacturing Extension
Partnership in its Louisiana Productivity Center. Louisiana
Tech University has a program for access to the newly created
Light Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in Livingston,
Louisiana. Also in place is the Louisiana Universities Marine
Consortium that specializes in R&D on environmental management.
largest performers of federal R&D in Louisiana are the government
labs with $50 million spent in FY 1997. More than half of
these funds came from USDA ($26 million), and the Department
of the Interior (DOI) contributed $12 million placing it second.
USDA funding goes to its Southern Regional Research Center
(SRRC) in New Orleans. This center is one of four USDA centers
around the country that specialize in research in crops indigenous
to that specific region. The SRRC has seven basic research
units designed to study crops such as cotton, rice, and peanuts,
and to conduct research in biotechnology.
from the DOI goes to the Biological Resources Division of
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has placed its
National Wetlands Research Center in New Orleans. The Center
is the main clearinghouse for disseminating information on
USGS conducted research on the nation's wetlands.
U.S. Navy has also placed its National Biodynamics Laboratory,
an integral part of the Naval Medical Research and Development
Command, in New Orleans. The Biodynamics Lab studies the effect
of mechanical forces on the human body while on aircraft or
is not far behind as a major federal R&D performer in Louisiana.
In FY 1997, industry received $45 million in federal R&D funds.
The bulk of these funds came from NASA with $36 million and
DOD a distant second with $7 million.
industry R&D facility in the state is the Lockheed Martin
Michoud Space Systems Assembly Facility. The facility conducts
R&D and produces the external fuel tanks for the Space Shuttle
and works in close collaboration with the George C. Marshall
Space Flight Center in Alabama.
also boasts the Exxon R&D Laboratories, which conducts research
on technology for petroleum and synthetic fuels; the Dow Chemical
Company's Louisiana R&D facility, specializing in polymer
chemistry research; Vickers Incorporated, which produces the
Main Engine for the F-22 fighter, and McDermott International,
Inc., a firm with expertise in chemical, mechanical and structural
R&D state initiatives are spearheaded by the state's Department
of Economic Development providing assistance in areas that
focus on technology, modernization, and innovation. The department,
for example, funds Louisiana's Technology Transfer Center.
Its activities include maintaining an electronic directory
of all university centers, technology transfer from fed-eral
laboratories, partnerships with the Louisiana Productivity
Center at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, the Louisi-ana
Partnership for Technology and Innovation, the Biomedical
Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, the Tulane Office
of Technology Development, and the Baton Rouge Area Mo-lecular
Biological, and Biotechnical Alliance.